Franschhoek Wine Valley

Nelson Mandela and Franschhoek: Visit the Drakenstein Correctional Centre

The Drakenstein Correctional Centre. Photo courtesy of Lee Howard

The Drakenstein Correctional Centre, just outside Franschhoek, is where former President Nelson Mandela walked out a free man in 1990, after spending 27 years behind bars.

The entrance to the correctional centre, marked by a bronze statue of Mandela with his fist aloft, has become a tourist spot, as has the house in which he spent the last few months of his time in prison.

Most of Mandela’s incarceration was spent on Robben Island, from 1964 until he was transferred to Pollsmoor prison in 1982. In 1998 he was sent to Victor Verster Prison, now named the Drakenstein Correctional Centre.

He spent the last 14 months of his prison sentence in a warder’s cottage on the prison grounds, and was released on 11 February 1990.

In 2010 the National Heritage Council named the house a heritage site because it is an iconic landmark, which narrates the South African history of the liberation struggle.

On the day of his release, thousands of people stood at the gate to catch sight of Mandela. He walked out of the prison hand-in-hand with his then wife, Winnie.

Private tours of the cottage can be arranged by calling the Drakenstein Correctional Centre on +27 (0)21 864 8000.

Franschhoek Wine Valley exists to:

  • Develop and implement marketing plans to profile the Franschhoek Wine Valley
  • Arrange and advertise events that support the Franschhoek Wine Valley brand image and which encourage visitors to the Valley
  • Represent the business interests of our members to the Stellenbosch Municipality
  • Aggregate the combined buying power of our members to leverage economy of scale benefits from service providers
  • Coordinate free advisory services and discussion forums to support our member’s businesses

Our Accolades

  • TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2020 - Top 25 Emerging Worldwide Destinations (15th position).
  • Tripadvisor Traveller's Choice Destination Winner 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
  • Most Memorable Wine Route 2014, 2013 & 2012
  • Service Excellence Award - 2015
  • Best Tourism Event 2015 - Franschhoek Bastille Festival
  • Best Local Tourism Authority Information service 2013 & 2012

Tourism Levy

Certain establishments in Franschhoek may levy visitors with voluntary contributions towards the running of the FWV and to support local charities. Should visitors not wish to contribute to these causes, please indicate this to the relevant merchant.


Maintenance & validity of all business operating permits, licences and registration certificates are the responsibility of the business owner. Franschhoek Wine Valley takes no responsibility for the renewal of the required legal business operating documentation.


Contact Us

Franschhoek Wine Valley

Physical Address
62 Huguenot Road

Office hours
Monday: 09h00 – 12h00
Tuesday to Friday: 09h00 – 16h00
Saturday: 09h00 – 13h00
Sunday: closed

Contact Details
+27(0) 21 876 2861