Reclaiming Ubuntu for a better society’

The annual Ubuntu project upholds the legacy of our former statesman and global icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela by carrying and emulating the values of Ubuntu to the future generations of our country and making a difference in our communities. We want to help you in your Ubuntu idea and initiative. You can apply to receive support for your Ubuntu initiative…

“A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“As we know, the African people in this country have, over many centuries evolved a value-system of Ubuntu with its basic tenet aptly captured by the saying: motho ke motho ka batho. Many of us have been brought up to uphold values based on this old-age African adage. Through socialisation many Africans have ensured that our families and communities are themselves grounded on the value-system of Ubuntu.

Today, government as well as civil society, use elements of this value-system of Ubuntu in their approaches to the day to day challenges. Some of these examples are the government’s Batho-Pele campaign that seeks to place the interests of the public at the centre of government work and delivery of services.

Further, government as well as various communities have on different occasions embarked on programmes based on some of the basic elements of Ubuntu such as Letsema and Vuk’zenzele to mobilise people to act together to advance the objective of a better life.” –President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, on the occasion of the Heritage Day celebrations, Taung, North West Province, 24 September 2005.

Who can participate?

  • Registered NPO / NPCs involved in community social services



  • Organisation’s relevant and valid registration documents (registration and valid tax clearance certificates, active bank account, etc.)
  • A proposal (maximum 4 pages) which includes the following information:
    • Name of the NPO or NPC, NPO number, province in which they are located and operating in and contact details;
    • The background of the NPO (stating what they do as an organisation)
    • A list of requirements of the NPO (what they need to be assisted with)
    • Information about the beneficiaries
    • The impact of the organisation’s donation in the community i.e. how is the project going to curb the challenges they are faced with in their communities?


Examples of requirements from NPOs should be the following

School shoes/uniforms; food parcels; clothing; sanitary towels; reading / material etc.

N.B. The successful community organisation should be willing to sign a contract with the National Heritage Council to adhere to the entity’s requirements; complete and sign all the compulsory documents (SBD forms); submit reports and invoices post-implementation.

For enquiries, please contact the Heritage Unit: (012) 348 1663 | Email ubuntu@nhc.org.za

About the Ubuntu Honour

The Ubuntu Initiative has evolved since its inception more than twelve years ago. The intention has always been to honour imminent persons who personify values such as

  • Compassion
  • Unity
  • Humility
  • Honesty
  • Respect and
  • Love for other fellow human beings.


Global personalities who have been honoured over the years include; Nelson Mandela (2006), Kenneth Kaunda (2007), Fidel Castro (2008), Boutros Boutros-Ghali and King Sabata Dalindyebo (2009), Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (2011), Miriam Makeba (2013), Julius Nyerere (2014).

The Ubuntu Honour is now part of the Golden Shield Heritage Awards (GOSHA) that are held every year in September to celebrate heritage. South Africans were honoured since 2015.

The Ubuntu / Nelson Mandela Initiative is thus an off-shoot of the two programmes above. Its purpose is to extend the Mandela Day into a Mandela Year by doing good for those that are less fortunate. It is a donation made to each of the provinces once a year to assist with the little that the NHC can afford.

Applicants are therefore invited to apply for this donation that can be utilized for purposes of alleviating the struggle of the applicants.

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