Monument to Mandela mounted in Howick
04 Aug 2012 15:08 - Sapa
Construction workers add the final touches on a Nelson Mandela statue on July 26 2012 outside Howick. The monument will form part of the museum that was recently opened in the Midlands Meander on the spot where Mandela was arrested in August 5, 1962. (Ian Carbutt, Gallo)
Former President Nelson Mandela's sculpture was unveiled in Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Saturday.
"The front of the sculpture is a portrait of Mandela, it has vertical bars which represent his imprisonment," designer Marco Cianfanelli said.
He came up with the concept in 2005 working with architect Jeremy Rose of Mashabane Rose Associates.
Also working on the project was director of the Apartheid Museum Christopher Till.
Cianfanelli said: "When you walk through the structure it's radiates like a burst of light, which symbolises the political uprising of many people and solidarity."
He said the sculpture showed the irony of the apartheid government trying to stop the struggle.
"But it had the opposite effect as it helped to grow and galvanise the movement."
The sculpture comprises of 50 steel columns which are charcoal in colour.
Rose designed the path leading towards the sculpture where at a distance of 35m, a portrait of Mandela looking west comes into focus.
On the sides of the pathway were trees with the words negotiator, courageous, statesman, leader, prisoner, comrade and character.
"We wanted a sculpture that was not conventional," he said.
Cianfanelli said working on the sculpture was a privilege and humbling experience. President Jacob Zuma said the site would promote tourism, and create jobs. "We must encourage generations to visit the site because those who do will be inspired.
"Children should be encouraged to visit all heritage sites so they can understand the country's history," Zuma said.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said he loved the sculpture. He thanked Zuma for giving Mandela recognition. "This is encouraging and it shows the South Africa is moving forward," Mthembu said.
Attending the ceremony was premier Zweli Mkhize, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, speaker of the provincial legislature Peggy Nkonyeni, chairman of the Apartheid Museum John Kani and Mandela's grandson Zwelivelile.
The multi-million rand monument would be mounted where Mandela was arrested before he was incarcerated for 27 years on Robben Island.
On August 5, 1962 Mandela was arrested by apartheid security forces on the R103, just 3km outside Howick.
The unveiling marks 50 years since Mandela was arrested and charged for treason in the Rivonia Trial at the end of which Mandela and several others were sentenced to life imprisonment. - Sapa.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site receives the green light for development
Aerial perspective looking onto proposed development
On the 5th of August 2011, a multi-million rand development was launched in Howick at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site where former president Nelson Mandela was arrested exactly 49 years ago. Currently, there is only a plaque to mark this site, yet it will soon play host to the establishment of a museum, multipurpose theatre and amphitheater, tourism and supporting educational and cultural facilities to be situated on this site.
Global engineering, management and specialist technical services group, Aurecon, in co-operation with Boogertman & Partners, were contracted by the uMngeni municipality (with the assistance of the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta)) to complete architectural design for the development last year. This included ‘packaging’ the development in terms of land usage and concept design.
“Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the vision for this village is the way in which its many parts form a cohesive whole. The gardens are integral to the concept and are envisaged to be the ‘glue’ that will knit the complex together,” commented Aurecon project manager Marietjie van Zyl.
The most prominent aspect of the village will be the heritage museum, positioned in close proximity to the monument with a viewing platform that hovers towards it. The educational aspects of the scheme are found in the next immediate zone away from the monument in the form of a multipurpose space to be used as an educational venue. An amphitheatre links the museum and this space, whilst the hotel complex is positioned furthest away from the monument. Retail and restaurant facilities are also found in this zone, all arranged around a court that integrates the spaces together.
The parking is separated from the courts by a small level difference, thus separating vehicular from pedestrian traffic, whilst the hotel complex is nestled into the existing wooded area, away from the commercial aspect of the project, providing much-needed privacy.
One of the many challenges this project poses is that the site was obtained before the necessary feasibility studies were carried out. A wetlands delineation, conducted by Terratest (Pty) Ltd, has revealed that the site harbours permanent wetland conditions and a 20 m wetland buffer which will affect both the planning and layout of the development. In addition, although geological surveys concluded that the site is suitable for the proposed development, measures need to be taken to address certain constraints associated with existing geological conditions.
“Despite these constraints, an official Environmental Assessment Study revealed that all statutory approvals could be complied with, and the development will go ahead as planned,” comments Jako Strydom, Aurecon urban and regional planner. He adds that Aurecon are proud to have provided strategic input into this historic project. “The development will not only serve as a monument to our past, but also the future that arose from this respected leader’s journey,” he concludes.
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