The Union Buildings, the official seat of the South African government could likely be renamed after South Africa’s first democratic president Nelson Mandela.
The proposal to have the building renamed was put forward by Chairman of AngloGold Ashanti Sipho Pityana on Tuesday.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the University of Cape Town, Pityana, who doubles as the chairman of the university council said it would be ideal to rename the whole building after Mandela.
Presently, only part of the building bears Mandela’s name. On 10 December 2013, the Union Buildings Amphitheatre was renamed the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre while a 9-metre high bronze statue of Mandela was unveiled at the Union Buildings on 16 December 2013.
The prominent businessman and activist said it’s ridiculous how the government chose to rename only part of the colonial-era building after Mandela, “yet the name of the Union Building itself remains as it is in memory of the four provinces in 1910 that excluded blacks.”
He, therefore, called on all and sundry to do away with their oppressive past and forge ahead with the future.
“It is upon you as the new generation of intellectuals to share these lessons with society‚ point out the irony and insist that the Union Buildings should be named Nelson Mandela House,” Pityana said.
The Union Buildings house the offices of the president of South Africa. The buildings also occupy the highest point of Pretoria and forms part of South African national heritage site.
Remarkably, the Buildings have hosted lots of presidential inaugurations and other national and prominent events. They were designed by the architect Sir Herbert Baker and built from light sandstone.
Earlier this month, the Western Cape government announced plans to erect another jaw-dropping and gigantic statue of former Nelson Mandela at the Cape Town City Hall.
The Western Cape government added that the statue will be a replica of the photograph of Mandela standing on the city hall balcony‚ making his first speech‚ after he was released from prison in 1990.
Data obtained from Google maps and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory shows that road and streets across the globe named Mandela topped the chart with (54%) followed by schools (28%), and accommodation (19%), while villages sat at the bottom of the chart with (2%).
Furthermore, across continents, Mandela is highly immortalised in Europe (98%), followed by Africa (85%), North America (22%), Asia (15%), South America (10%), and least immortalised in Australia (1%).