New Nelson Mandela Bay Precinct

M&C Saatchi Abel Gives Light to New Nelson Mandela Bay Precinct

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M&C Saatchi Abel have led a consortium that has won a bid to design a new precinct for Nelson Mandela Bay to honour Madiba’s contribution to South Africa, as well as elevate the city’s status as a hub for socio-economic transformation, tourism and employment opportunities. The city hosted a competition open to all South Africans to submit their ideas, but it was the Nelson Mandela Bay Tower of Light concept that ultimately won.

The monumental Nelson Mandela Bay Tower of Light is a 27-storey high interactive museum, with every storey marking each year that Nelson Mandela spent in prison. It will take visitors on a multisensory journey through the life and times of Nelson Mandela, culminating in a reflective tower on the top floor that includes a chrome statue of Madiba.

M&C Saatchi SA Group CEO and Nelson Mandela Bay native, Mike Abel, shares: “Throughout my career I have had one quote on my wall ‘The people with the best people win’ from Jerry Welsh. The M&C Saatchi Abel team, together with prominent P.E. businessman Khusta Jack and leading architectural firms Makeka Design Lab and Scott + Partners delivered a winning concept that encapsulates the spirit of Madiba.”

He continues: “This was a project very close to my heart and I am incredibly excited about the concept we’ve produced, which is a landmark that I believe has the potential to rejuvenate the city - and will boost the local economy. It imbues the city with the indomitable spirit of Madiba and all he stood for - to achieve greatness through kindness.”

Speaking further on the project, Chief Creative Officer for the M&C Saatchi Group, Neo Mashigo, says: “There is no better feeling than knowing you’re part of something that aims to make the world a better place. This is something bigger than we’ve ever done, something that the world can identify with and a space that could be shared by all.” 

M&C Saatchi Abel, together with the rest of the winning team, will now work with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to prepare the rollout of the project. 

For more information and to get a glimpse of what the Nelson Mandela Bay Tower of Light will look like, visit

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Issue 58