The City of Cape Town will commence with a public participation process about the proposal to commemorate the life and work of the late President Nelson Mandela with a statue and exhibition at City Hall.

The proposed project – the installation of a statue of the late President Mandela and a permanent exhibition at the City Hall – forms part of the National Liberation Heritage Route, an initiative of the National Heritage Council and the National Department of Tourism.

‘The purpose of the public participation process is to engage with our residents about the intended memorialisation of Madiba at City Hall. The adoption of the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan, or ODTP, in August last year means the City strives to be more proactive and customer-centric. We want to work more closely with our residents, and an important aspect of strengthening the relationship between the City and Capetonians is for our residents to participate in matters that affect them and which they feel strongly about. I thus urge residents to please let us know their thoughts about this project,’ said the Chairperson of the City’s Naming and Nomination Committee, Councillor Brett Herron.

Comments, input and recommendations may be submitted as from 18 April 2017 until 21 May 2017 by:

  • Email: transport.info@capetown.gov.za
  • Online on the City’s website: www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay
  • Post: to the Manager: Public Participation Unit, PO Box 298, Cape Town, 8000

‘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. 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,’ said Councillor Herron.

It is furthermore proposed that the City fund a permanent exhibition at the City Hall, consisting of interpretive panels, audio-visual equipment, and interactive displays, to commemorate Madiba’s legacy and to honour the organisations and people who were involved in the liberation struggle, the events leading up to Mandela’s release, and the transition to democracy.

‘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,’ said Councillor Herron.

The proposed project will be a joint effort between the City and the Western Cape Government’s Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the Sport Department.

‘Our partners from the Western Cape Government will fund the Nelson Mandela statue or memorial which is to be donated to the City and we will fund the permanent exhibition at the City Hall,’ said Councillor Herron.

The development of a Madiba legacy route formed part of Project Khulisa, which had the goal of adding up to 100 000 jobs to the tourism sector.

‘President Mandela remains one of the world’s most beloved icons. His journey after his release from the then Victor Verster Prison to the City Hall where he made his address is of important historical significance. Through leveraging this unique heritage, we can build an attraction which will draw visitors to our region and spread Madiba’s message of tolerance. We know this message remains especially relevant both here at home and abroad. 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,’ said the Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde.

The Western Cape Government has budgeted approximately R3,5 million for the funding of the memorial and the City approximately R1,3 million for the operational costs, inclusive of the ongoing maintenance of the exhibition and statue.