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Launch of the Naming and Renaming Project

The Naming and Renaming project to ensure that all University spaces and places recognise, respect and honour all people and our country’s rich heritage in ways that resonate with our values and the ethos of our namesake will be launched later this month.


Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa will host an event at which the Naming and Renaming process will be officially launched.


This project follows the launch of our new name in July 2017 and the need to pro-actively build social cohesion in the wake of the Fees Must Fall call to decolonize the academy and academic spaces. It also forms part of the University’s commitment to actively contribute to the transformation of the institution and society.


The naming and renaming process – anticipated to run for at least 18 to 24 months and across all our campuses - will also offer us the opportunity to build and enhance the intellectual identity and brand of Nelson Mandela University, while simultaneously celebrating and marking Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s centenary year.



Precinct, phased approach

Given the magnitude of the project, the University is following a precinct approach, using natural campus or faculty groupings to seek mutual agreement on appropriate names for places and spaces. It will also run in phases.


Right now the focus is on:

  • Bird Street Campus, and
  • Various buildings across multiple campuses, but particularly those that do not yet have a name, such as the “new new Engineering building”

The roll-out plan and the thinking behind the project will be shared at the launch process, where the new names for the Port Elizabeth student residences will also be officially announced.


Last year, the SRC led a series of consultations with students to identify suitable names for the residences in line with a new Naming policy. Family and friends of those after whom residences are being named have also been invited to the launch of the Naming process.


Single launch

The launch of the process on 19 March is intended to negate the need to host a series of individual celebratory launch events for each and every building that receives a new name, thereby reducing unnecessary costs and extravagance.

However, exceptions may be likely with the possible renaming of a campus or through mutual agreement among staff and students to host their own internal celebration with stakeholders key to their work.


Open process

A website to support the process is in development. In the interim, however, please forward your inquiries to


Naming and Renaming Working Group