The Oliver Kahn Safe-Hub in Gugulethu-Manenberg officially opened on May 17 during a celebratory launch event attended by more than 150 representatives from government, business, the nonprofit sector and the local community. Honoured guest and keynote speaker Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape, addressed the crowd with welcoming remarks.

Premier Zille said, “It’s inspirational to be here. This day is a truly important day because we are here to celebrate partnership, opportunity and transformation.” The Premier was joined by several Ministers of the Western Cape Government, including Minister for Community Safety Dan Plato, Minister of Social Development Albert Fritz, and Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Anroux Marais.

The Oliver Kahn Safe-Hub was realised in collaboration with several partners, most critically the Oliver Kahn Foundation, a long-standing partner of AMANDLA EduFootball, the NGO that developed the award-winning Safe-Hub Model.

The Safe-Hub Model is designed to globally disrupt the intergenerational cycles of poverty, unemployment and inequality that trap young people growing up in urban slums. AMANDLA and its partners collectively operate 3 Safe-Hubs serving up to 6,000 young people in Diepsloot, Khayelitsha and now Gugulethu-Manenberg. Planning is underway for additional Safe-Hubs within South Africa, as well as the first Safe-Hub outside of the country, to be located in Berlin, Germany.

The Safe-Hub includes an artificial turf field, training academy, psychosocial support centre, and a Youth Café, which is run by local youth and offers free WiFi access and meeting space. The Safe-Hub also includes commercial space for young entrepreneurs and local start-ups, as well as shared office space for local NGOs and government initiatives.

AMANDLA Founder Florian Zech thanked partners and attendees for their ongoing support. “This model is really the sum of all our learnings and insights over the last 9 years. The Safe-Hub aims to be an independent platform that fosters collaboration between government, business and the nonprofit sector. Our vision is to replicate proven outcomes at scale and create the largest, most impactful social franchise network in South Africa.”

A panel discussion about youth development and the vision of having a Safe-Hub in every community in South Africa featured Mickey Mashego, Safe-Hub Head of Facility, Paul Hendricks, Director of Sport Development in the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr. Robin Petersen, CEO of SAFA Development Agency, Shanda Paine, Group CSI Head of Tsogo Sun, Ntombikayise Nombakuse, Sub-Council Manager of City of Cape Town, and Nosipho Makana, a current Safe-Hub Participant.

During the panel, Safe-Hub participant Nosipho Makana spoke about the impact of his experience with the Safe-Hub: “To say that AMANDLA has changed my life is an understatement, it has transformed my life.”Following the panel, attendees got to experience the Safe-Hub firsthand during a guided tour.  

Located on the grounds of Intshukumo Comprehensive High School, opposite Nyanga Junction in the heart of Gugulethu-Manenberg, the Oliver Kahn Safe-Hub will provide participants daily access to the field, as well as weekly tutoring sessions, life skills workshops and youth leadership training.