The Centre for Security, Peace and Conflict Resolution (CSPACR) was established in operation in 2023 July after a knowledge gap was identified to assist communities, governments on the African continent (and across the global) to manage conflict (s) via de-escalation and John Burton’s concept of ‘track two diplomacy’.  More specifically, there seems to be a growing concern among many stake holders in South Africa that service delivery protests, strikes, social unrest tend to be violent and pose a threat to democracy. A case in point is the 2021 July political unrest that broke out in parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng. Under the circumstances of COVID-19, women were the hardest hit by the virus and social conflicts with an escalation of Gender-Based Violence and femicide. The field of Conflict Studies have been historically patriarchal in nature by turning a blind eye to women struggles. The CSPACR among other things is aimed at bridging this gap within the context of Conflict and Security Studies.  The security architecture of the South African government has been found wanting as well and evidence of this was laid bare at the Zondo Commission.  South Africa has been characterised as a violent country; owing to the lack of conflict management skills of both protesters and security officers.  
Thus, scholars like Edward Azar and William Zartman have referred to South Africa as a deep-rooted society. This is largely because of the protractedness nature of social conflicts in South Africa. Again, there have been many media coverages regarding conflicts at schools among pupils (including between parents and school authorities). Conflicts are also entrenched in civil society organisations. This signifies that South Africa is not a post-conflict society, precisely because of several security threats. Against this backdrop, the CSPACR seeks to contribute to field of conflict studies (locally and internationally) through the management of different types of social conflicts. Moreover, intends to monitor security threats and enhance social cohesion. The CSPACR recognizes the symbiotic relationship between security and development (alongside democracy). Unmanaged social conflicts have a potential of leading to a break-down of society and democracy.   On a large scale, multi-lateral institutions like the African Union and Southern African Development Community from-time to time are unable to successfully managed, resolve and de-escalate conflict. Among other things, CSPACR is meant to fill in this gap on matters of conflict management and security.


The Centre responds directly to University’s aspiration, to be a ‘socially engaged and responsive university in the service of society by contributing to the co-creation of a more sustainable and just world’ as well as undertaking ‘engaged and, responsive scholarship with societal impact in all its core missions of learning and teaching, research and innovation, and engagement and transformation.  The Centre also works closely with scholars, research fellows, HEAVAs and students in and beyond the Humanities Faculty to advance the transdisciplinary research practices that contribute substantively to the Nelson Mandela University’s core strategic focus areas, as well as at least three of the strategic thematic areas (Engagement and Social embeddedness, Revitalising the humanities, Critical Mandela Studies) Social justice and democracy, Environmental stewardship and Sustainable livelihoods, Origins, culture and heritage and memory, and Humanising pedagogies), as well as at least two of the institutional strategic trajectories, namely Revitalisation of the Humanities and fostering Transdisciplinarity. The Centre’s scholarly contribution in the Critical Mandela Studies also requires leading in providing critical insights in Mandela’s role in conflict resolution during South African’s transition to democracy, and during his Presidency. South Africa’s management of potentially bloody transition in hailed as a success worldwide, with Nelson Mandela being perceived as the intellect behind the success of this period.