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Pretoria square set for major revamp

A new design has been developed for Lilian Ngoyi Square - formerly Strijdom Square. The design was unveiled this week by the member of the mayoral committee responsible for economic development and city planning, Subesh Pillay, at a media briefing.

An artist's impression of the new square with the State Theatre on the left and Munitoria in front.

Discussions are expected to take place between the Tshwane Metro Council and the Gauteng provincial government, which is in charge of the project.

The new-look square will, according to Pillay, be an open flow system which will integrate with the pedestrianisation of Helen Joseph (Church) Street.

It will have a stage where artists can perform and a monument to honour the women who took part in the anti-pass law march in 1956.

"This monument will have a water feature which will honour these women, especially Lilian Ngoyi, who was at the forefront of the march," said Pillay.

He said the square would have lighting and electronic billboards.

"Work will start once the design issue has been finalised with the province," said Pillay. He said it was not yet possible to determine how much the project would cost.

"The cost will be determined once the design has been approved by the provincial government," said Pillay.

He said the owners of businesses adjacent to the square would have to change their buildings' facades so that they would gel with the newlook square.

"Some of these businesses' facades are not attractive," he said.

Various options for the future of the square have been mooted. After the Koert Steynberg bust of former prime minister JG Strijdom crashed into the parking lot below the square on May 31, 2001, plans for its redevelopment began in earnest, but came to nothing.

Work on one of the latest plans for a market on the square ground to a halt a few months ago.

The metro council resolved in 2007 to establish a cultural market on the square, aimed at tourists. The initial plans included the transformation of the State Theatre side into an African foods restaurant featuring a park and facilities where patrons could enjoy their food.

The Helen Joseph Street and Lilian Ngoyi (Van der Walt) Street sides were to be transformed into sites for the African market and informal traders.

According to a report tabled at the council's monthly meeting in May, after the development was conceptualised and planned, the Gauteng provincial government decided not to transfer the funds for the project to the metro council and said it would take over the project management, budget and procurement process.

"Since the implementation of the project, there has been a lot of disruptions due to changing professional teams, design variations, nonpayment for the contractor, sub-contractors and labourers," it was stated in the report.

In addition, the report stated that the effect of the delays was felt directly by businesses "and pressure is being put on the city to intervene and facilitate the project for the province".

Pillay said he hoped these delays were a thing of the past and that once approval had been granted the project would move swiftly.

The square was originally called Market Square and housed the city's fresh produce market.

It was renamed Strijdom Square in the 1970s after former Strijdom. Steynberg's bust was a focal point, as was the fountain topped with a sculpture of running horses by Danie de Jager.

The horse sculpture has already been relocated to the University of Pretoria's LC de Villiers facility.

The cabinet approved the renaming of the square after Lilian Ngoyi as part of the 50th commemoration of the women's anti-pass laws march of 1956. Ngoyi, one of the leaders of the march, was born in Pretoria. She died aged 68 in 1980.

Pretoria News

Source: IOL Property

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I was in Pretoria last week and the ABSA building is absolutely stunning.

11,390 Posts
"He said the owners of businesses adjacent to the square would have to change their buildings' facades so that they would gel with the newlook square.

"Some of these businesses' facades are not attractive," he said."

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Completed as well:

#WomensDay: Nation celebrates women’s achievements
9 August 2016, 2:04pm

Pretoria - Today political focus shifted from local elections to the Union Buildings (UB) in Pretoria where tens of thousands gathered to celebrate Women's Day.

Thousands of people,especially women, from all walks of life gathered at the lawns of the UBs to mark 60 years since women marched against apartheid laws.

The day started with the official opening of the Women's Living Heritage Monument at Lilian Ngoyi Square in the Pretoria. The monument tells the story of women’s contribution to the liberation struggle.

A peaceful march was held from the square to the Union Buildings, following in the footsteps of those who marched 60 years ago.

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, said the nation was celebrating women’s successes and achievements.

The event was dominated by the strong presence of ANCWL members clad in their green and black regalia.

AU chair Nkosanza Dlamini Zuma said society must stop turning a blind eye to women abuse and stop patriarchal values that continue to persist in South Africa.

Also present was Sophie De Bryun, Deputy President Cyril Ramaopsa and Arts and Culture Minister Narhi Mthetwa.

President Jacob Zuma delivered a keynote address under tight security. He lauded women for their bravery and important role in the country's liberation.

Sakhile Ndlazi
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