Home » Akani Properties Announces the Renaming of the Nicolway Shopping Centre to Winifred Mandela Precinct in Honour of Winnie Mandela

Akani Properties Announces the Renaming of the Nicolway Shopping Centre to Winifred Mandela Precinct in Honour of Winnie Mandela

by Tia

Akani Properties, a black-owned and managed property group with R4billion worth of assets under management, is proud to announce the renaming of the Nicolway Shopping Centre in Bryanston north of Johannesburg, to Winifred Mandela Precinct in honour of the later struggle stalwart.

The renaming ceremony, held on Friday, 19 April 2024, was attended by esteemed guests including Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, the Board of Trustees of the Municipal Employees Pension Fund (MEPF), representatives from the Mandela family, Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Funzi Ngobeni of Action SA and major tenants.

Nicolway was acquired by Akani Properties two years ago in a R1billion transaction on behalf of their client, the Municipal Employees Pension Fund (MEPF), marking a major milestone in the investment strategy of the Fund.

Some of MEPF’s flagship properties include the R900m Radisson OR Tambo Hotel and Convention Centre in Kempton Park which was opened by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2020. They recently completed and launched into the market the Autumn Leaf Shopping Mall in Zeerust, North West. They will later this year launch the R600million Radisson Hotel and ICC in Middleburg, Mpumalanga as they continue to grow their property portfolio.

Winnie Mandela, often referred to as the “Mother of the Nation,” embodied unwavering commitment to the struggle against apartheid, resilience in the face of adversity, and dedication to uplifting communities. By naming the shopping centre after her, Akani aims to celebrate her rich and multifaceted legacy, acknowledging both her achievements and the challenges she faced.

“We choose to focus on the broader spectrum of Winnie Mandela’s contributions,” said Akani Managing Director, Mr Jack Malebane at Nicolway Shopping Centre. “The renaming is an evolution that aligns Nicolway with the broader narrative of community and family values.”

The renaming draws a parallel with other iconic places like Nelson Mandela Square, emphasising the familial and community-oriented aspects of both figures. By having Nicolway named after Winnie Mandela, Akani aims to create a network of spaces reflecting diverse aspects of the Mandela legacy, including family, community, and leadership.

“Nicolway Shopping Centre has always strived to be a family-friendly and community-centric space,” added Akani Group Chairman, Mr Zamani Letjane. “Naming the shopping centre after

Winnie Mandela is a recognition of her softer side – her dedication to family, community, and the well-being of the nation.”

Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi congratulated Akani and the Municipal Employees Pension Fund (MEPF), for reclaiming a piece that belongs to all South Africans and renaming the centre after the struggle stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. “We said it and many people didn’t believe it, that Winnie Mandela didn’t just die- but multiplied. The name Winnie Mandela will be with us forever,” said Premier Lesufi.

The Mandela family proudly and publicly endorsed this initiative. The great grandson of Winnie Mandela, Ziyanda Manaway, said: “I am proud to have your name associated with Akani Properties, which is the leading commercial property of the African continent. We endorse this initiative”. Ziyanda ended his speech by speaking to his late great grandmother, saying “Big mommy, when you were with us, you had schools in Soweto, libraries in Tembisa and informal settlements across our country named after you, which made you very proud. I say to you now, that as your oldest great grandson, I am proud to have your name written in the heart of Bryanston, one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in our country and continent”.

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said the party welcomes the name change. “The community of Bryanston must truly embrace this name. Mama Winnie Mandela fought for everyone’s freedom in South Africa, that we may become a society that is united”.

This renaming represents an opportunity for the community to appreciate Winnie Mandela’s multifaceted contributions beyond the political realm. Embracing the complexity of history, the centre (Winifred Mandela Precinct) is committed to recognizing individuals for their positive contributions and fostering a sense of unity.

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