News 5.4.2017 09:42 am

Statue of Oliver Tambo to be erected at airport

Former ANC president and struggle icon Oliver Tambo.

Former ANC president and struggle icon Oliver Tambo.

The 9m bronze statue will be constructed and installed in October this year at the airport.

A statue of late struggle hero Oliver Reginald Tambo will be erected at, quite fittingly, the OR Tambo Airport named after him.

This was announced by Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina during the delivery of his first State of the City Address last Wednesday.

The 9m bronze statue will be constructed and installed in October this year at the airport, in recognition of the great struggle icon, as this year marks the 100th year since his birth, Kempton Express reported.

This will be a part of year-long celebrations the metro will be having to commemorate the century since his birth.

“In his life he was a choir master, a poet, a songwriter, a maths and science genius, a teacher and a lawyer. During this year, we will celebrate the life and times of President Oliver Tambo through theatre productions, arts, writing and music competitions.”

“Over the next five years, we will sustain these arts programmes and theatre productions; deliver arts and production workshops to emphasise tolerance, social cohesion and collective citizenship in community development,” Masina announced during his address at the Germiston City Council.

The metro will be rolling out a number of programmes and events to celebrate the centenary of Tambo’s birth, all of which are based on the attributes of Tambo.

“It remains our mission as a city to preserve his legacy so that more of our people can have a clear record of our history.”

The Memorial Lecture is one of the main oral history events organised in consultation and in conjunction with the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation.

The metro will also develop an OR Tambo Narrative Centre precinct, which will include the establishment of the OR Tambo library/Knowledge Centre.

“This will create opportunities and spaces for our youth to talk, debate, listen, explore and to learn from the wise heroes throughout the history of South Africa. We will also use the OR Tambo Narrative Centre to connect Ekurhuleni with other cities of the world like Reggio Emilia,” said Masina of the Italian city, which provided political support to the people of South Africa during the days of apartheid.

“Therefore, the narrative centre will give us access to an array of documents not previously available in South Africa and housed in the Soncini Archive in the Panizzi Library dealing with OR Tambo and the liberation struggle in Southern Africa.”

Continuing with its efforts to protect, preserve and promote the legacy of the city’s revered giants, Ekurhuleni has acquired the house of the late Chris Hani and plans to develop it into a fully-fledged museum, where his memorabilia will be exhibited.

Masina also announced during his address that recently on March 24, the South African Heritage and Resources agency declared Hani’s grave a memorial site, together with the Walk of Remembrance.

“Ekurhuleni has a rich legacy of leaders, heroes and heroines who deserve recognition in addition to these two iconic leaders of our struggle for freedom. We will identify and celebrate a suite of Ekurhuleni ambassadors in sport, culture, science, technology and fashion that can identify with our key attractions, investments and provide role models for our young people and aspiring achievers,” Masina said.

Furthermore, the mayor said his administration would engage with national and provincial road authorities as well as the public at large for the renaming of key interchanges on the N3, the N12, the N17, R21 and R24 freeways after those heroes and heroines of our struggle that are closely associated with the surrounding areas.

Caxton News Service

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