Multimillion rand statues of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo to be installed in Durban

ANC supporters gather around Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Building

ANC supporters gather around Nelson Mandela’s statue at the Union Building as part of the 67 minutes for Mandela Day. File picture: Masi Losi

Published Jun 1, 2023


Durban - The multi-million rand statues of former president Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo that are to be installed in the Durban City Hall precinct have arrived in Durban.

EThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the statues arrived by ship and are now being kept in a safe place until they are installed.

He said it was important to install statues that reflected the history of African people.

Addressing the media on a post budget briefing on Thursday, the mayor said it was concerning that around the precinct there were only colonial era or apartheid era statues.

“We also want to take this opportunity to report that the two statues of OR Tambo and former president Nelson Mandela that will be erected along Church Walk have arrived.

“This project started in 2017 when the council took a resolution to transform the City Hall precinct by having statues of OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela along Church Walk. However, the delivery of the statues was negatively affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.

“We are pleased that the statues have been delivered successfully and are being kept in one of our storage facilities while we are concluding the process of installing them.”

Kaunda said the two statues together cost roughly R22 million. “This was the cheapest figure as compared to others who wanted almost the same price for only one statue.”

Last year, a report was brought to council requesting money to install the statues. Parties were outraged. They complained that the price of installing the statues should have been factored in the price to build them.

They also complained that the ANC was focused on honouring only its leaders, which increased the risk that should it ever lose power, those statues will come down.