A PLAN by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to erect a massive
monument depicting former statesman Nelson Mandela is gaining momentum,
with the MBDA tasked with raising funds for the project.
The Mandela Bay Development Agency got the go-ahead from the economic
development, tourism and agriculture portfolio committee yesterday to
look into the idea of developing the monument for the city. It still
needs council’s approval.
It is not clear where the monument will be situated, but councillors
said yesterday they felt it had to be erected at the Motherwell Peace
In MBDA chief executive Pierre Voges’s report to the committee, he
stated that South Africa’s ambassador to Washington DC, Ebrahim Rasool,
was keen to help source the money for the monument.
This followed mayor Ben Fihla’s recent visit to New York and Chicago.
“One of the executive mayor’s strategic projects includes the building
of a Nelson Mandela monument similar to the memorials of Martin Luther
King and Abraham Lincoln in Washington DC.
“The mayor requested the MBDA to develop a concept document or
proposal regarding this construction of [a] Nelson Mandela monument.
“The intention will be to raise money for a Motherwell Peace Park
memorial, but also to use the opportunity to raise funding for a more
prominently based Nelson Mandela monument for the city.
“Such a monument will be very visible from the road, sea and air, and
needs to be part of a bigger freedom precinct such as Route 67 and the
Donkin [as well as being near] other public amenities such as banks,
travel agents, beaches, airport and shipping centres. [It] must be a
‘must see’ facility,” Voges’s report states.
ANC councillor Zukile Jodwana said it was imperative the monument be
erected at the Motherwell Peace Park as it was there that Mandela first
met thousands of supporters soon after his release from prison.
DA councillor Chris Roberts wanted to know if security would be hired to protect the monument against vandals.
Committee chairwoman Babalwa Lobishe said with their buy-in, the
community would look after it. “That Peace Park was beautified in 2010
and from 2010 until now, there has been no vandalism.”
-Rochelle de Kock