This year, Nelson Mandela Day will focus on two critical intersecting challenges being faced by South Africa and many other countries - food security and cultures of lawlessness. The challenges of poverty and inequality grows on a daily, it is for this reason that the Nelson Mandela Foundation is inviting everyone to honour Madiba’s birthday by contributing to meeting the immediate needs of the most vulnerable communities.
The Mandela story played a significant role in the early stages of the development and promotion of tourism in South Africa. By the 1980s the apartheid regime was in its final throes, and worldwide pressure to end apartheid and free Nelson Mandela drove sanctions that limited international tourism. This resulted in most of South Africa’s tourism industry being made up of white domestic tourism makers. The release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 and the first democratic elections in 1994 resulted in rapid change, from our national carrier SAA resuming flights to other continents and expanding to new markets, to international visitors flocking to experience the new South Africa. Nelson Mandela was influential in shaping South Africa as a brand.
Today the country boasts many attractions dedicated to telling and preserving the story of this great statesman, from Robben Island in Cape Town, to Mandela Capture Site in Howick, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Liliesleaf Farm, The Apartheid Museum and Mandela House in Gauteng. Destination Gauteng is excited to have another experience added to this series of Mandela based attractions. His former residence in Houghton has been refurbished and transformed into a hospitality establishment by Motsamayi Tourism Group (previously known as Thebe Tourism Group) and will operate as a boutique hotel. Named Sanctuary Mandela, this iconic establishment will open to the public from 1 September 2021. This is a significant development that tourism and South Africa as brand wants to highlight this Mandela Month. As a destination we want to continue to leverage the stature of the Nobel Prize winner as a driver of tourism demand in Gauteng. Destination Gauteng is currently engaged in the work of developing a Mandela route. The month of July will also see a number of country sports teams participating in global events such as the Olympics and British and Irish Lions tour and the golden province is at the centre of these. Gauteng Tourism Authority Acting CEO, Barba Gaoganediwe-Matshogo has also called for Gauteng residents to use Mandela Day to join in the cleaning and rebuilding efforts following the looting caused by unrests in the province. “Cleaner and safer communities and infrastructure increase visibility and instill pride amongst local communities”, says Gaoganediwe-Matshogo.