The 2015 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture: reflections from the audience

The 13th Nelson Mandela Annual lecture, held at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus today, was met with much excitement – from ordinary South Africans to the country’s entertainers and newspaper editors.

This is what some of them said about the lecture, presented by economist Professor Thomas Piketty:

Giorgio Radesich (pictured with Janine Radesich)

“The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, for me, is an annual reminder that South Africa can.”

Dr Sello Mokoena

“The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is fundamentally to honour the former president’s contribution to the country and humanity. He has a lasting legacy because he had a vision of South Africa becoming a free country.” 

Sicelo Nkosi

“I’m excited to hear a new voice in the global finance world.” 

Yoliswa Makhasi

“I’m interested to hear from Thomas Piketty and to learn from his ideas, and also come up with possible solutions.”

George Bizos

“Mandela and I were friends for over 60 years. I am expecting South Africans to face seriously our Constitution, not just mentioning it in passing, but to take action. We have a duty.”

Sello Hatang

“The lecture is a reminder of why it is important to do the work we do. Whatever we do now has a huge impact on the future.”

Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

“I am always privileged to be invited to the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. The lecture has so much to offer the country in terms of imparting skills that many of us don’t have.”

Prof Ihron Rensburg

“It’s evident that the greatest 21st century challenge is inequality. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is spot-on in identifying Thomas Piketty, who is an influential economist.”

David Makhura

“The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is one the most important events in the calendar of our country. I always look forward to hearing from thought leaders around the world. Having read Piketty’s book, I look forward to his lecture and his ideas on inequalities and how to solve them. We, as a country, are going through huge inequality issues; we’re looking for answers.”

Ferial Haffajee

“It’s one of the most exciting lectures we’ve had in a long time.”

Some reflections after the lecture included the following: 

Ursula Chikane

“Attending the lecture has been an eye-opener. South Africa is on track in moving forward.”

Dr Mamphela Ramphele

“The best way of describing the lecture is that it was a message that has come to our beautiful country to give us concrete facts about the economy gap in South Africa. It has also helped us to see the way out of these problems.” 

Loyiso Xaba

“It was nice to experience the lecture as the youth. South Africa still has a hope of a bright future.” 

Tshiamo Morakile

“The lecture was educational; I got to learn things I didn’t know. It’s good to know we have the whole world supporting us.”

Carolyn Steyn

“I found the lecture very interesting. The great message is that there are solutions for our country.”