A security guard walks past two banners within two arches of the Cape Town City Hall. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
A security guard walks past two banners within two arches of the Cape Town City Hall. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

A statue of Nelson Mandela on the Cape Town City Hall balcony‚ where he gave his first speech on the day he was set free in 1990‚ will cost R3.5m.

The statue will be funded by the Western Cape government‚ and the City of Cape Town plans to spend R1.3m a year on a permanent exhibition at the City Hall commemorate Mandela’s legacy‚ the organisations and people who were involved in the liberation struggle‚ the events leading up to Mandela’s release and the transition to democracy.

Brett Herron‚ chairman of the city council naming and nomination committee said on Monday the two projects would form part of the National Liberation Heritage Route‚ an initiative of the National Heritage Council and the Department of Tourism.

"It is proposed that a statue be installed on the balcony at the City Hall where Madiba delivered his first public address following his release from the then Victor Verster Prison on 11 February 1990‚" Herron said.

"It is opposite this balcony where approximately 50‚000 South Africans gathered on the Grand Parade on this historic day to celebrate Madiba’s release from prison after 27 years.

"The City Hall falls within the National Liberation Heritage Route‚ but little has been done to date to highlight the prominence of this landmark and the significant events that took place at City Hall in 1990.

"The purpose of the proposed permanent exhibition is to turn City Hall into a popular tourist attraction where visitors can visualise the events and have a full experience of our journey to democracy. Numerous people and organisations had a hand in one of our nation’s most historic moments and we want to honour them as well."

A public participation exercise on the two plans will be conducted until May 21.

Western Cape economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde said: "It is important that residents of the province have a say in how we honour Madiba‚ and I would like to encourage everyone to share their views during the public participation process."

Comment at www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay

TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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