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The City of Cape Town’s Naming and Nomination Committee this morning, 8 February 2017, recommended that the City undertake a public participation process regarding the proposal to commemorate the life and work of the late President Nelson Mandela with a statue and exhibition at City Hall. Read more below:

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.

A report detailing the proposal served before the City’s Naming and Nomination Committee who recommended to the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, that the City undertake a public participation process to engage with Capetonians about the intended memorialisation of Madiba at City Hall.‘It is proposed that a statue be installed at the balcony at the City Hall where Madiba delivered his first public address as a free man, 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, where they waited for hours to see Madiba, to listen to him and to celebrate his release from prison after 27 years,’ said the Chairperson of the City’s Naming and Nomination Committee, Councillor Brett 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 very 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 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.

The proposal conforms with the City’s Memorialisation Policy. If Mayor De Lille approves the recommendation, the City’s Public Participation Unit will commence with the process of requesting comment and input from residents and interested and affected parties in Cape Town.

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