Mission / Purpose


The objectives of the Raymond Mhlaba Centre for Governance and Leadership (RMC) are in line with the University’s long-term strategic focus of developing the Humanities, and its commitment to community engagement in contributing towards the development of society. As both a research and an engagement entity, the RMC co-ordinates the facilitation of the:

i.    revitalisation of the humanities

ii.   transformation and engagement of the faculty

iii.  Faculty's scholarship, research and engagement activities

iv. re-imaging engagement of the Faculty in service of society


The RMC is a Faculty of Humanities entity that serves as a locus for inter-disciplinary collaboration across the Humanities and provides flexibility for collaboration with the Social Sciences and other entities for strategic engagement with the government. Facilitating cross-disciplinarity within the humanities and social sciences underpins the entity's contribution to the strategic priority of revitalisation of the humanities. The RMC’s focus on scholarly research fits well with capacity building and engagement programs that are responsive to the Higher Education transformation agenda as imaged by the University. 


Specific contributions to Mandela University Strategic Vision

As a vehicle for coordinating scholarly research and transaction activities across the Faculty of Humanities, the RMC’s functions contribute towards the strategic vision of Nelson Mandela University in


service to community and strengthening association with Raymond Mhlaba legacy.

facilitating and deepening trans-disciplinarity in contribution to the revitalisation of the humanities.

coordination to enhance the collaboration of the humanities and social sciences engagements with the government, private business, civil society and community.

responsiveness to the Higher Education transformation agenda; and


undertaking scholarly research, agency and consultancy services, capacity building and training programmes for generating third stream incomes and for the entity’s income sustainability.



The scope of the RMC includes a variety of public policy issues, research, engagement and capacity building within government in general, and local government. The geographical spread includes the National, Provincial and Local spheres of government, State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), and with a particular focus on local government.


Professional Development of Public Officials

The Centre aims at capacity building of public officials across all the three (3) spheres of government, namely, (i) Local, (ii) Provincial and (iii) National. The Centre provides cross-disciplinary humanities and social science programmes as a short-course to facilitate up-skilling and capacity building of officials in both the public and private sectors, especially in local government. Collaboration and delivery of the programmes will underpin the entity's contribution to the strategic priority of revitalisation of the humanities. Research collaboration across the Humanities and social sciences, research for policy development and programmes for capacity building are to ensure the effectiveness of government’s policy and other responses to societal problems.



A core pillar of the RMC relates to engagement for capacity and skills development, professional services, and research in service to the community. The objective of these programmes is to bring citizens and civil society closer to governance and public policy issues. To this end the entity hosts dialogues, public lectures (including the flagship Raymond Mhlaba Annual Memorial Lecture), seminars and book launches. The RMC intends to expand engagements to include partnerships and Service Level Agreements with municipalities, provincial and national spheres of government, and other relevant stakeholders, nationally and internationally.


Graduate Student Involvement

The RMC, through engagements with all three spheres of government and other institutions, intends to provide research and scholarship for development. The positives here include in-service training opportunities, skills development for graduate employability, research output and a source of third-stream income for the Nelson Mandela University. Post-graduate students’ research projects are geared towards investigating issues of concern and interest to government institutions, especially municipalities in areas such as research and scholarship for the sustainable ocean economy and policy.  A further positive is for municipalities to provide bursaries for students to tailor their research to such issues, and in turn expand access and provide support. Students from various disciplines in the Faculty of Humanities are encouraged to become involved in the Centre. Depending on the focus of the research project of the postgraduate student, students are encouraged to conduct their research projects through the Centre whilst registered with the Faculty of Humanities. 


Consultancy and Advisory Services

These programmes will be based on a multi-disciplinary approach in delivering quality products for its clients and partners at a reasonable cost. Among the services offered are:

  1. Policy analysis,
  2. Conducting feasibility studies,
  3. Course material development in public governance, policy and public management,
  4. Commissioned research work, and
  5. Facilitation services (e.g. Management Planning Sessions).


Centre leadership and Associates

The Centre is strategically positioned in the Humanities Faulty as an interface between Mandela University and the society in which the University is located. Administratively, the centre reports to the Faculty of Humanities and its academic home is in the School of Governmental and Social Sciences, which is part of Humanities Faculty. In order to boost research, engagement and collaborations across the Humanities and other entities within and outside of the Faculty, Prof Luvuyo Ntombana was appointed as the Centre’s Acting Director. As a response to specific areas of Public Administration and Leadership, particularly in the areas of governance, public administration and policy, the university appointed d Dr N. Maphazi as Centre’s Operations Manager.   The following is the Centre’s administration Team and Associates.


Acting Director



Operations Manager



Program Administrator

Ms Nomtha Menye


Centre Associates

External Research Associates: Dr Pedro Mzileni

University Associates:  Dr Thanduxolo Fana and Mr Mokhele Mosekama (both from Public Management and Leadership Department)