eThekwini Municipality forges ahead with erecting Mandela and Tambo statues at cost of R22m

The Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Building. Durban will soon have its own. Picture: Masi Losi Picture: Masi Losi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

The Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Building. Durban will soon have its own. Picture: Masi Losi Picture: Masi Losi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jun 1, 2023


Durban - The ANC-led eThekwini Municipality says it is going ahead with erecting Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo statues at a cost of R22 million. The statues will be installed near the Durban City Hall in the city centre.

This was confirmed by Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda on Thursday while briefing the media after the adoption of the city’s R65.5 billion budget the day before.

Kaunda said the project was mooted in 2017 and the delivery of the statues was delayed during to Covid-19.

There are reports that the expensive statues were made in China and Kaunda said it was cheaper to import them.

“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 the Covid-19.

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

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

In another matter, Kaunda, said he is probing allegations that there is a City Integrity and Investigations Unit (CIIU) report implicating city manager, Musa Mbhele in wrongdoing and it was concealed before he got the top job.

“In the past few weeks, the media have been constantly reporting allegations of misconduct against the city manager, Musa Mbhele.

“Following these reports, I have taken steps as the city manager’s immediate supervisor to verify the existence of the CIIU reports, that formed the basis of the negative media reports.

“I am finalising this report for it to be tabled at the next council meeting,” Kaunda said.

He also said they are probing allegations that the city’s human resources head, Kim Makhathini, has fraudulent qualifications.

“The council has authorised the city manager to appoint an independent investigator to investigate allegations of misconduct against the deputy city manager, Ms Kim Makhathini, emanating from the alleged fraudulent diploma and unverified degree.

“The appointed investigator will be expected to submit, within 30 days of his or her appointment, a report with recommendations to the city manager;

“The city manager shall table the report of the independent investigator before the council within seven days from the date of receipt thereof for a decision to be made.”

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