Madiba's Footprint | Western Cape Government
Rest in Peace Tata Madiba 1918 - 2013

Lala Ngoxolo

Tata Madiba

1918 - 2013


Nelson Mandela’s Footprint in the Western Cape

The story of Nelson Mandela is inextricably linked to the Western Cape and its people. From his 18 years on Robben Island, to his first speech as a free man on the steps of City Hall, Madiba has left an indelible mark on the people of this province.

Robben Island  

Former president Nelson Mandela was first transferred to Robben Island at the end of 1962 after being found guilty of incitement and illegally leaving the country.

However, in 1963 he was transferred back to Pretoria Central Prison to stand trial in what became known as the Rivonia Trial.

On 12 June 1964, after being found guilty of sabotage, conspiracy and assisting an armed invasion, Mandela and his co-accused were flown back to Robben Island. Mandela spent 18 out of his 27 years in prison in a small cell in B-Section.

Ferries to Robben Island from Nelson Mandela Gateway, V&A Waterfront will only be honoring existing bookings.

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.906751,18.422535

To find out more about the history of Robben Island visit

Pollsmoor Prison

On 31 March 1982 Nelson Mandela, along with Water Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba and Andrew Mlangeni was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison.

It was here where Mandela began having contact with representatives of the South African government, first with Minister of Justice Kobie Coetzee then with Minister of Constitutional Development Gerrit Viljoen. Please note that this site is not open to the public.

Address: Steenberg Road, Tokai, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -34.068534,18.431429

Tygerberg Hospital 

Mandela was taken to Tygerberg Hospital on 12 August 1988 for treatment for fluid on the lungs. He spent six weeks in hospital during which time it was revealed that he was suffering from tuberculosis.

Address: Francie van Zijl Avenue, Tygerberg, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.914589,18.611137

Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic

On 31 August 1988 Mandela was transferred to the Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic, where he received treatment until 7 December 1988.

Address: Burnham Road, Plumstead, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -34.026628,18.462561

Groot Drakenstein Correctional Facility

Formerly known as Victor Verster Prison – Mandela was transferred from Constantia Medi-Clinic to a house on the grounds of Victor Verster. This is where Mandela spent his final years of imprisonment. A bronze statue of Mandela, standing with a raised fist, has been built outside the house.

Please note that other than the statue, this site is not open to the public.

Address: R301 between Paarl and Franschoek, 5km before the intersection of R301 and R45

GPS Co-oridnates: -33.843631, 19.016106

De Tuynhuys

On 4 July 1989, Mandela held a short meeting with State President PW Botha at Tuynhuys in the Parliamentary precinct. It was also from the steps of Tuynhuys that President FW de Klerk announced, on 18 March 1992, that South Africa had "closed the book on apartheid". The building became the Cape Town Office of the Presidency and Mandela moved in when he took office in 1994.

Please note that this site is not open to the public.

Address: Government Avenue, Cape Town City Centre

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.927422,18.418605

Cape Town City Hall

This is where Mandela made his first public speech to a mass rally from the Edwardian building’s balcony a few hours after he was released from prison on 11 February 1990.

Address: Darling Street, Cape Town City Centre

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.925432,18.423652

Groote Schuur Estate

Mandela and FW de Klerk addressed the media following breakthrough talks with the government at the Groote Schuur Estate in Cape Town on 4 May 1990. The negotiations led to the signing of the Groote Schuur Minute.

Please note that this site is not open to the public.

Address: Klipper Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.966676,18.462888

South African Parliament

State of the Nation address by the new President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, in the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town, 24 May 1994.

Please note that this site is not open to the public.

Address: Parliament Street, Cape Town City Centre

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.925967,18.419796


The building formally known as Westbrooke Manor became Mandela’s home in Cape Town when he became president. It has become the official Cape Town residence of the president.

Please note that this site is not open to the public.

Address: Groote Schuur Ave, Rondebosch, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.96317,18.468164

Green Point Stadium

On 29 November 2003 Mandela hosted the 46664 Concert to raise awareness about HIV/Aids. The number 46664 was Mandela’s prison number for 27 years while imprisoned on Robben Island. A number of subsequent 46664 concerts have been hosted across the world.

Address: Green Point, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.905433, 18.408672

Nelson Mandela Gateway and Robben Island Museum

For more than 300 years, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment. In 2006, it was declared a National Heritage Site and museum, an emotional reminder of the struggle that was fought by many heroes for the democracy we live in today.

Ferries to the Island depart from Nelson Mandela Gateway where a historical exhibition can be visited. The guides at the museum are former inmates of the prison, many of whom were on the Island around the same time as Mandela.

Address: Clocktower Precinct, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.906575,18.422611

Mandela Rhodes Place

Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel & Spa offers visitors a timeline, which chronicles the life of Mandela in 14 distinct sections. The Basement Theatre Supper Club features a documentary of his life, while the Atrium boasts a wire art statue of Mandela, entitled First Step to Freedom.

There is an innovative mosaic made from Rubik's cubes, which form an abstract portrait of Nelson Mandela. Built by Jan Du Plessis, the artwork was completed for the third annual Ubuntu Festival in 2011.

Address: Corner of Wale and Burg Street, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.923981,18.41882

Nelson Mandela Boulevard

On 15 July 2011 the City of Cape Town officially renamed Eastern Boulevard after Mandela. Nelson Mandela Boulevard has simply replaced Eastern Boulevard, a fast three-lane carriageway that descends into the city just after the junction of Settlers' Way and (Cecil) Rhodes Drive.

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.929581,18.435824

Leeuwenhof Estate

Leeuwenhof was originally a farmhouse dating to the time of the Dutch East India Company's rule of Cape Town. It is also the official residence of the Premier of the Western Cape. Mandela spent a night or two at one of the manor houses on the estate.

Please note that this site is not open to the public.

Address: Hof Street, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.937628,18.40598

Nobel Square, V&A Waterfront

Four larger than life sculptures have been created by Claudette Schreuders of South Africa’s Nobel Peace prize laureates, Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Desmond Tutu and Albert Luthuli. The square was opened on 16 December 2005, South Africa’s Day of Reconciliation.

Address: Between the V&A Hotel and Musica Megastore, Ground Floor, Dock Road

GPS Co-ordinates: -33.906223,18.419646

NR Mandela Road

This road was the first tarred road into the informal settlement of Imizamu Yethu in Hout Bay, Cape Town. All of the roads in Imizamu Yethu honour leaders in the fight for a democratic South Africa.

Address: NR Mandela Road, Hout Bay

GPS Co-Ordinates: -34.0299,18.356801

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is not only one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World but it was also a significant landmark for Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment on Robben Island. In his words, “During the many years of incarceration on Robben Island, we often looked across Table Bay at the magnificent silhouette of Table Mountain. To us on Robben Island, Table Mountain was a beacon of hope. It represented the mainland to which we would one day return.” The Western Cape Government honoured Madiba during the week of national mourning with evening laser projections of his face on Table Mountain.

Address: Lower Cable Station, Tafelberg Road, Cape Town

GPS Co-ordinates: 33 57.43128, 18 24.18455

Cape Town Tourism is running different tours visiting the places of Mandela’s footprint in Cape Town. For more information visit their website

The content on this page was last updated on 20 December 2013