A Beacon Of Hope & Oasis In The Community.

That's how many people have come to know JL Zwane Centre in the heart of Guguletu in Cape Town.

Download the JL Zwane Booklet



South Africa’s people are its greatest asset, and deserve an investment in human capital that is focused on sustainable development. The Stories Zenz'iLeaders programme is exactly that, being an initiative that aims to develop and uplift communities by improving leadership skills. 

We employ a storytelling technique, which communicates with people in a way they can truly relate to, as opposed to more directive methodologies. We have found this approach to have a lasting impact with real empowerment and capacity-building. 

Democracy in South Africa will be short-lived if we cannot address our socio-economic problems within an expanding and growing economy. We need to rethink what we are presently doing, so that the greater interests of all will be served. 

We believe a development and leadership programme is needed that truly uplifts, empowers and capacitates communities in a way that they understand..

Reclaiming forgotten truths of leadership and community

A programme that is achievable, integrated and sustainable is required. We need realistic strategies to overcome obstacles. We must develop confidence in the wisdom, organizational abilities and determination of our people. We work with communities and leadership that has, over many years developed survival skills. It must be a programme that will meet basic human needs and open up previously suppressed economic and human potential in urban and rural areas through listening and sharing of ideas that work. 

We need a people-driven process. We need leadership that does not abdicate responsibility. We need leadership that does not just sit and wait for permission to lead. Our people, with their aspirations and collective determination are our most important resource. We must focus on our people’s most immediate needs and rely, in turn, on their energies to drive the process of meeting these needs. 

The Stories Zenz'iLeaders programme aims to empower communities through storytelling. We have found storytelling to be a powerful tool – not only does it include a market that is not necessarily literate.



What is Alpha?
Alpha is opportunity to explore life and Christian faith in a friendly, open and informal environment.

Try Alpha
The Alpha Course is open to everyone interested in interrogating the Jesus of Nazareth narrative. In a more relaxed atmosphere, participants revisit the scripture and the message contained therein. They share their thoughts and explore the meaning of life in general. 

At JL Zwane, the Alpha course in on Mondays. Every Thursday every participant on the Monday programme meets with a group of people in the community and shares his/her experience. The Alpha course is a 10 week programme with just one-day a week or weekend getaway. At each session, people enjoy a light meal, laughter and learning in a fun and friendly atmosphere where no question about life or God is seen as too simple or too hostile... questions like: Is there a God? Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where am I going? 

Alpha Venues


After School Programme

"I used to struggle in my classes, but now I have improved. My Afrikaans marks have now gone up. The after school programme has helped me a lot. Education is everything."
Kuhle Zandeka - 12 years old, Grade 7

Living Maths

"Grade 1 to grade 9 are assisted during the week while the higher grades are assisted Saturday mornings. If we don't have enough people with skills, there's no way we can transform South Africa. we need to start with our schoolchildren, and develop them to become skilled members of our society."
Steve Sherman - managing director of Living Maths

Fun Learning for Youth (FLY)

FLY provides maths tutoring services at the Centre every Saturday morning from 9 am to 12 noon. The objective is to create a chain of educational excellence from Grade 8 to Grade 12 while also playing a meaningful role in the lives of learners.

Stars of Tomorrow

This programme helps people acquire new skills which helps them to move upwards and onward in their lives. It is targeting any person of any age whether educated or not.



Men's Christian Guild. About MCG


 United Presbyterian Women's Fellowship.
More about UPWF

Intlangano Yezintombi zomZantsi weAfrika. Info about IYZA coming soon.


Youth Fellowship. More about Youth Fellowship


Association of Church Choirs and Musicians. 
More about ACCM


Sunday School

The JL Zwane Sunday School Ministry 

Info about Masiphathisane coming soon.

Young Women
Young Women  is a unique and innovative group of young women who are committed to finding a different approach to existing challenges. More...


Information about membership 
The admin is busy updating and compiling some exciting info about Church and Site membership, but he's not telling yet. Prepare to be blown away. 



"Our goal is to bring comfort, peace and hope. we want our patients to know that they are not walking on the journey alone. we'll be there for them and will walk with them through the process of loss."

The main thread running through their work is to focus on care, not cure, concentrating on the person and not the illness. Hospice care aims to help people to live until their very last moment, as pain-free as possible and to die in dignity.

Support Groups


JL Zwane Memorial Church History

A conflict of many years within the Bantu Presbyterian Church in Cape Town was resolved in one year (1952) by a decision of Assembly to "appoint a Commission to investigate the trouble in the Tiyo Soga Congregation, with powers to settle the matter in the best interest of God's work". (Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Bantu Presbyterian Church 1951: 2528:28). The Reverend Jeremiah Lafangaye Zwane of Pietermaritzburg congregation was requested by this Commission to take charge of the Tiyo Soga Congregation. He arrived in Cape Town in February of 1952 and left  the congregation at the end of that year, united and ready to call a minister. The Rev. JL Zwane is still remembered for his commitment to reconciliation, peace and love among Christians. 

The Gugulethu congregation was under the Tiyo Soga Church in Langa. In 1976, a church was built. This church building became the centre of the struggle against apartheid in the community and it is where members of different political parties met. The fight for freedom was, according to members of this congregation, central to the very nature of God. This congregation was given a congregational status in 1988, which meant it was separate from the Tiyo Soga Congregation and could call a minister of its choice to serve them.

In the same year the Gugulethu Presbyterian Church congregation extended a call to Rev. Dr. Spiwo Xapile, at the time furthering his studies in Aberdeen, Scotland, his wife, Zethu and their two children. They moved to this congregation in August 1989. In 1992, the congregation was renamed JL Zwane Memorial Church, in memory of a man reputed to be a peacemaker. 

When Rev. Dr. Spiwo Xapile arrived, he was already an experienced minister, ordained in 1981 in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth. He had worked in Uitenhage, Somerset East and Butterworth (Gcuwa Congregation) but he was shocked by the extent of the poverty and cash-less-ness when he arrived in Cape Town. "All I saw around me was nothing and my strong faith in the God who created out of nothing, helped me lead the church and the community forward."

The need for buildings (brick and mortar) appeared to be very urgent, but in reality it was not as challenging as the state of mind of the people in Gugulethu, due to the psychological effects of apartheid. It was clear that the damage was great. People had no confidence in themselves. 

At JL Zwane, we believe in developing human capital. We do not leave anyone behind if we can get our people excited about making a difference in themselves. There is very little we can do about our past but we have all it takes to shape our destiny. We understand life backwards but we have to live it forwards

History in pictures...

Snippet from the JL Zwane Booklet

About the booklet The JL Zwane Centre is a well established,professionally run and highly respected organisation which has been caring for the community since 1994. Its core commitment is to uplift and empower the people of Gugulethu and surrounding areas through partnerships with caring individuals, organizations and companies. Named after its founding pastor and renowned peacemaker, the JL Zwane Centre was established in 1994 as a joint initiative of Stellenbosch University, the Gugulethu community and the JL Zwane Church. The idea was sparked by a deep need to uplift the community of Gugulethu, home to 350,000 people, many of whom face grinding poverty. The unemployment rate in the area is about 65%


Donations and Funding


Our funding is administered by Stellenbosch University. We invite you to partner with us in helping to bring dignity and hope to the lives of people in our community. Your support will enable us to continue to render an invaluable service to the people who often face a daily battle with illness unemployement and other hardships.
There are three options for international remittance of funds to 
Stellenbosch University


Directly to Stellenbosch University (our preference). Stellenbosch University has passed equivalency determination tests of other USA foundations. It may not be an issue for the John Templeton Foundation - your legal counsel will be able to advise you regarding this route. This account can receive any currency.

Bank: First National Bank Cape Town
Bank Address: 5th Floor Media City
No 1 Heerengracht
Rua Vasco Da Gama Entrance
Foreshore Cape Town
Account Name: University of Stellenbosch – Foreign Income
Account Number: 621 0717 7083
Branch Code: 204 109
Reference: JL Zwane Centre for Training and Development

Please send confirmation of the donation to Ms Joan Weyers,
Email:  jhs1@sun.ac.za
Fax:       +27-21-882-8405.


To the Stellenbosch University South Africa Foundation United Kingdom, a registered charity in the UK which received funds on behalf of Stellenbosch University. UK tax laws apply. It can receive GP£ which will be converted into ZARand once transferred to South Africa.

Bank: Wachovia/Wells Fargo
Bank Address: Business Banking Group
MAC R0104-1131300 I St NW,
11th Floor Washington, DC 20005
Account Name: Friends of the University of Stellenbosch Foundation
Account Number: 2000061370450
ABA/Routing: 054001220
for wire transfers: 121000248
S.W.I.F.T Address: WFBIU
IRS EIN no: 13-4091453
Reference: JL Zwane Centre for Training and Development

Please send confirmation of the donation to Ms Joan Weyers,
Email:  jhs1@sun.ac.za 
Fax:       +27-21-882-8405.


To the Friends of the University of Stellenbosch (FUSF). This is a 501 (c) 3 educational foundation incorporated in New York, USA, which receives funds on behalf of Stellenbosch University). USA IRS laws apply. Once received the FUSFtransfers the funds to Stellenbosch University. This route is primarily used by individuals and organisations interested in receiving the relevant USA tax benefits. This account can receive GB£ which will be converted into US$ and then into ZARands on transfer to South Africa.

Bank: Nat West Bank
Bank Address: City of London Office
Account Name: Stellenbosch University SA Foundation UK
Account Number: 39448843
Short Code: 60-00-01
Reference: JL Zwane Centre for Training and Development

Please send confirmation of the donation to Ms Joan Weyers,
Email:  jhs1@sun.ac.za 
Fax:       +27-21-882-8405.

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