Mandela’s R3.5 Million Statue: Why Isn’t This Another Waste Of Public Money 


Not long past, it emerged that the African National Congress (ANC) in North West wanted to erect a R6 million Jacob Zuma statue. Then, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) North West leader, Joe McGluwa proclaimed that the Jacob Zuma Statue would be a monument to corruption and unemployment.

“The Democratic Alliance is shocked that the ANC in the North West wants to spend R6 million of public money to erect a statue of a man who has so brazenly broken the laws of our land, and who seeks to divide the people of this country rather than unite us

“…a statue of Jacob Zuma will go nowhere to solve the critical need for services, as water supply fails daily, waste water treatment plants lie unusable and broken, and the inhumane bucket system still plagues our people,” agitated the DA.

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Eventually, the North West Provincial government abandoned the move to erect the R6 million Zuma status. Now, we have the DA-led City of Cape Town wanting to erect a R3.5 million statue to honor Nelson Mandela.

According to Councillor Brett Herron, the City of Cape Town is set to commence a public participation process on the proposal to erect the R3.5 million statue which will commemorate the life and work of Madiba.

“The purpose of the public participation process,” Herron said, “is to engage with our residents about the intended memorization of Madiba at City Hall.

“We want to work more closely with our residents, and an important aspect of strengthening the relationship between the City and Capetonians is for our residents to participate in matters that affect them and which they feel strongly about.”

BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that Mandela’s R3.5 Million Statue will be erected where Mr Mandela gave his first public speech after he was released from prison.

Councillor Herron divulged that the City of Cape Town intent is to fund a permanent exhibition at the City Hall. The exhibition will be beautified with interpretive panels, audio-visual equipment and interactive displays.

“The Western Cape government has budgeted approximately R3.5m for the funding of the memorial and the City approximately R1.3m for the operational costs, inclusive of the ongoing maintenance of the exhibition and statue,” said the Councillor.

Commenting on this, Alan Winde, the head of Western Cape economic opportunities said: “It is important that residents of the province have a say in how we honor Madiba, and I would like to encourage everyone to share their views during the public participation process.”

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Also, Winde indicated that Nelson Mandela’s speech at the City Hall after his release from the Victor Verster Prison was of important historical significance. With that, Winde  justified the move to erect a R3.5 million statue of Mandela thus: “Through leveraging this unique heritage, we can build an attraction which will draw visitors to our region and spread Madiba’s message of tolerance.

That, begs for the question: Why isn’t Mandela’s R3.5 million statue regarded as another waste of public money? Could it be that to them, Mandela and Zuma are like light and darkness?

If that’s the case, the answer isn’t far-fetched. Light will always be celebrated and darkness despised.

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