As a tribute to Former President Nelson Mandela and his remarkable life story that is tied to Cape Town and the Western Cape, the City of Cape Town will be unveiling a bronze statue of the great father of our nation at the City Hall on 24 July 2018.
The statue is expected to be a fitting tribute to the great man to whom South Africa owes a great debt for his sacrifices made in the journey to attain freedom and democracy. The monument will serve as a constant reminder of the many years fighting for liberation that lead to the moment when he was freed and later addressed thousand of citizens from the City Hall balcony.
The statue will be positioned on the balcony where Nelson Mandela once stood when he gave his first address as a free man on 11 February 1990. The sculpture is the combined creative work of artists Xhanti Mpakama and Barry Jackson.
Mpakama is a young artist born and raised in the Eastern Cape, while Jackson is an experience bronze sculpture who has crafted artworks of several historical figures for the National Heritage Project. Both artists worked on the Mandela bust which currently takes a place of pride in front of the National Assembly at the South African Parliament in Pretoria.
This sculpture forms part of an initiative by the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town to share former President Mandela’s story with the world.
As part of Project Khulisa, the economic development strategy for the region, a Madiba legacy route was envisaged.
The route will allow visitors to follow in Nelson Mandela’s footsteps and visit key sites in the province such as Robben Island where he was imprisoned for most of his sentence, to Drakenstein prison and eventually to Parliament, where he was sworn in as our country’s first democratically-elected President in 1994.
“Mandela had a very close connection with Cape Town as it was here that he was imprisoned and here that he was finally set free and delivered his first speech as a free man from the City Hall balcony. It is therefore fitting that we honour him in this way in the Mother City as we commemorate 100 years since the birth of a world icon who sacrificed so much for our freedom and democracy,” said Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town.
“As we mark this momentous occasion this year, we must all do more to emulate his example and serve those who need our help most. In doing so, we can make greater strides in building a caring and inclusive city and ensuring that the work of Mandela in fighting for our rights and freedoms is felt by all.”
The public is encouraged to gather on the Grand Parade in front of the City Hall to watch the unveiling which will happen at 3pm.