What is PELMAMA ?




It is an acronym for the "Pelindaba Museums of African and Modern Art", a project initiated by The Haenggi Foundation Inc., Johannesburg, South Africa, an Association not for Gain established in 1978, following on the Soweto riots.

A museum complex to house the hundreds of top works of art by SA and international artists assembled to-date was to be established on 17 ha of land in the Pelindaba district, equidistant to Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria, augmented by fully equipped workshop facilities for Black and White artists and students.


View from the original PELMAMA site, overlooking the Hartebeespoortdam north of Johannesburg, west of Pretoria


View from original PELMAMA site



However, due to the total disinterest by international Corporations and Foundations at that time in not offering financial support and in view of the then approaching new political set-up with own priorities, the initiators decided to donate the greater part of the "PELMAMA PERMANENT ART COLLECTION" to existing museums throughout South Africa, save for a few works which were acquired directly by or placed on long-term loan to such institutions.



These works - some of which are well documented elsewhere - can now be seen as part of the "PELMAMA PERMANENT ART COLLECTION"  at the following Public Museums or University Galleries in South Africa:


Cape Town:

SA National Gallery


Oliewenhuis Art Museum


Durban Art Gallery

East London:

Ann Bryant Art Gallery


Johannesburg Art Gallery


Carnegie Art Gallery


Tatham Art Gallery


Pretoria Art Museum


University of Fort Hare


University of the Witwatersrand


This includes a large number of original works by Norman CATHERINE and 8 major sculptures in wood by the late Lucas SITHOLE which had been exhibited in Switzerland over a number of years and which were donated to the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein, during mid-2006.







PELMAMA was also the name given to the PELMAMA ACADEMY SOWETO, initiated in 1981, established in 1988 and supported internationally by donations in the form of cash or thousands of art related books until the New Government chose to change its status.

Further information is available here. 


This page last updated 25th January, 2015

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