Raymond Uren Legacy Initiative promotes community leadership development through

  • Critical dialogues
  • Recognition of leadership excellence
  • Profiling positive civic actions
  • Encouraging stakeholder collaboration
  • Lobbying for and developing of extra-curricular and recreational programmes


RAYMOND PATRICK UREN was born in Port Elizabeth on 11 May 1939. He matriculated from South End High School in 1957 thereafter going on to the University College of Fort Hare (then affiliated to Rhodes University) where he obtained a BA in 1960 and a University Education Diploma in 1961. Uren started teaching at South End high School and was appointed as Vice-Principal eight years later. In 1974 he was appointed as deputy principal at Bethelsdorp High School and after two years took up the position as principal until his retirement in 1993.

In the mid-eighties with the upheaval in education (when he also was detained without trial for three (3) months), Uren played a leading role in the establishment of the Eastern Cape Teachers’ Union (ETCU), which subsequently lead to the establishment of the Western Cape Teachers’ Union. Uren also served as the chairperson of the Eastern Province Senior Schools Sports Union and President of the South African Senior Schools Sports Association (SASSSA). He also served as chairperson of the Eastern Province Cricket Association, the Eastern Province Council of Sports and was a regular delegate to SACOS meetings. Uren was awarded the Presidential Sports Award in recognition of his lifelong contribution to the sports struggle and in 2009 was awarded the ICC “Catch the Spirit” medal for his outstanding service to cricket.

One of his areas of involvement, the Land Restitution Initiative, offered people with legitimate land restitution claims the option of pooling their claims in favour of a consolidated group approach. The restitution model they developed was used in many of the country’s land restitution projects.

Uren served on a project team set up by the General Motors SA Foundation which helped design and pilot a leadership programme for principals. The programme was conducted in partnership with NMMU. The programme was later registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the Advanced Certificate: Education in School Management and Leadership.

He also served as a member of the steering committee of NMMU’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation’s (CERTI) Saving our Schools project which focused on involving the community in helping local schools address the problems they face.

Dr Uren passed away on 5 February 2011 and will be remembered as a role model who has made a substantial contribution to education, sport and community development and transformation at various levels.