|PANEL 1: Contributions of Civil Society|
|CEO, Nelson Mandela Foundation (South Africa)|
Sello Hatang is the Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Previously he was the Head of Information Communications and spokesperson for the South African Human Rights Commission. He participated in the post-1994 transformation of the National Archives, including providing archival support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and is a former Director of the South African History Archive (SAHA) at Wits University. He serves on the boards of SAHA and the Open Democracy Advice Centre. He is a founding member and member of the Advisory Council of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC). He is a member of the editorial team for Nelson Mandela’s book Conversations with Myself and co-editor of Nelson Mandela: By Himself: the Authorised Book of Quotations. He is a 2014 Archbishop Tutu Fellow. He recently successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro to help keep girl children in school.
SELLO HATANG, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa, gave insights from the Nelson Mandela Foundation on the participation in sustainable development. He firstly stated Nelson Mandela’s full support of the UN-led process to identify Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Hatang commented on this “process” saying that it reminded him of the constitution drafting procedure in South Africa. He said that both processes emphasized on ensuring that all voices were heard, and they both felt the pulse of humanity, especially that of youth, and harnessed the energies required to strengthen that pulse.
Moreover, Hatang highlighted the significant role that well-functioning institutions play in leading a successful development process. He asserted that the Nelson Mandela Foundation has made institution building one of the key issues in its dialogue and advocacy program for the next three years. Hatang added saying that the civil society in South Africa is experiencing difficulty due to skill scarcity, limited contribution between the private and governmental sectors, slow economic growth, and failing NGO’s and CBO’s. He expressed that such conditions are not unique to South Africa, but are rather present in many other regions in the world. In this context, he said, “it is vital that we pay special attention to building more and strengthening existing institutions of civil society.”
Hatang gave three strategies that he considered to be fundamental building blocks of sustainable development. Firstly, he said that institutions of civil society must learn to work together more effectively. Secondly, they must learn to cooperate with state institutions and the private sector. Lastly, they must prioritize good governance. Hatang concluded his speech by stressing the significance of inclusiveness, participation, partnership and excellence in giving The Nelson Mandela Foundation the legacy it has. He said that “Nelson Mandela’s legacy belongs to all who believe in social justice and who strive to make it a reality for all; it is imperative that we create space for all and work with everyone with a stake in that legacy.” Indeed, according to Hatang, “a strong, diverse and vibrant civil society is one of the essential building-blocks for successful implementation of the SDGs.”