eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. File Photo: Nqobile Mbonambi/ African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN - eThekwini Municipality mayor Zandile Gumede has said that two proposed massive statues of former president Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo - at a cost of R20 million - would change the face of Durban.

Gumede was giving her mayor's report at the city's first EXCO meeting for 2019, held at a Moses Mabhida stadium conference room on Tuesday. 

She said that a council resolution was taken in 2017 to erect the "giant" statues of Tambo and Mandela in front of Durban city hall.

"Currently there are a number of colonial statues situated outside city hall...[and] these two statues will change the face of the city," said Gumede. 

“We will soon be making a formal and public announcement once we have concluded our internal processes. We will engage with the office of the premier, national government and involved families before providing detailed feedback. It is important that protocol be observed and followed when it comes to certain political decisions. We are accountable to the public as public representatives and also to our caucuses as politically deployed cadres,” she said. 

The city came under severe flack when it was learned that one artist had won the R20 million tender to construct the statues. Such was the outcry that the planned introduction of the artist was "indefinitely" postponed. 

African News Agency (ANA)