Mandela home opened as museum

Gauteng Premier Paul Mashatile officially opened the newly renovated Mandela house at number 8115 Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto on Thursday.

Mashatile described the house "as many political stalwarts' home" as he cut a ribbon to open the former family home of the first democratically-elected South African President, Nelson Mandela and his family.

The house which had about R9-million allocated for its renovations, still maintained the original dark red brick original structure and authenticity of the Orlando West houses.

It was declared a national heritage site in 1999.

The opening ceremony was attended by Mandela's former wife, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, their two daughters, the family's grandchildren, business people and politicians.

Mandela's daughter Zinzi accompanied by her sister Zenani, delivered a speech on their father's behalf, in which he described his former family home as a "heritage, not only for his family, but for all the people of Soweto".

"Our father who art Houghton, had this to say," Zinzi joked before delivering her father's brief speech.

Madikizela Mandela led her family through their newly renovated former home, which was expected to boost Soweto's tourism.

The renovations were conducted by the Soweto Heritage Trust, in partnership with Standard Bank and Anglo American, who each contributed R2,25-million to the project.

Mashatile said similar projects in partnership with the corporate industry could be expected in other townships around Gauteng in future. - Sapa


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