English: In a formal mentoring programme at the University of South Africa (Unisa), the mainly black newcomers are mentored by productive white academics. This article aims to determine how mentors perceived their mentoring task in this context. The findings revealed that mentors understand their mentoring task as pertaining exclusively to the development of research skills in order to sustain research outputs. No problems were encountered with cross-race mentoring. However, a lack of self-efficacy on the part of some of the protégés called for mentoring involving implicit goal-setting and affirming feedback, based on a radical humanist perspective on mentoring.