Nelson Mandela Square
Did you know?
The shoes on the Nelson Mandela statue are almost 1m in length.
Nelson Mandela Square is a vibrant hub in the heart of Johannesburg's upmarket Sandton suburb in Gauteng province. Attached to Sandton City Shopping Mall, the square is a great place to enjoy Johannesburg's vibrant urban spaces. The Square consists of a wide variety of upmarket shops and restaurants, and the central area is a popular venue for alfresco dining. The iconic Nelson Mandela statue is a focal point of this outdoor square.
Sandton is the commercial, business and entertainment Mecca of South Africa from where more than 10 000 businesses operate. Among these are the country’s top investment banks, corporate head offices and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Sandton is surrounded by South Africa's most affluent residential suburbs where more than 300 000 residents live and make use of the Sandton business hub.
The square is a European-styled piazza the marries international style and African hospitality. It attracts locals and visitors to its sidewalk cafes and premier restaurants – French, Greek, Italian and African. Around one million local and international visitors make use of this shopping extravaganza every month, buying anything from curios to couture, art, books, jewellery and hi-tech.The square is also used as a venue for a variety of prestigious events.
Nelson Mandela Square was previously known as Sandton Square, until the centre's 10th birthday celebrations and the unveiling of the Nelson Mandela statue on 31 March 2004 to coincide with 10 years of democracy in South Africa.
The statue of Nelson Mandela was created by local artists Jacob Maponyane and Kobus Hattingh and stands six metres tall. The statue was commissioned in July 2002 and completed in 2004.
At the time of its unveiling, the statue received mixed reactions from all quarters – some loved it, some hated it and some thought it was just a little over the top. Certainly, the proportions of this statue cannot be ignored: apart from its height it is 2.3m wide and has a shoulder width of 1.7m!
Visitors to Nelson Mandela Square can't help but have themselves photographed next to the imposing statue of Madiba and it certainly provides a talking point for the many diners who sit on the square to enjoy a meal under African skies.
The square is also a great place for those with kids and the water fountains provide hours of fun and amusement for the little ones. For adults in need of some retail therapy, there over 300 shops in the vicinity and for a spot of local culture the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square is a good place to be.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Nelson Mandela Square
Corner 5th and Maude Streets, Sandton
Tel: +27 (0) 217 6001
How to get here
Nelson Mandela Square is situated at the corner of 5th and Maude streets, just off Rivonia Road in Sandton.
Best time to visit
Nelson Mandela Square is open for business from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 7pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 8pm and from 9am to 6pm on Sundays and public holidays. Restaurants on the square are open for trade in the evenings until late.
What will it cost
Entrance is free.
Length of stay
Spend a day at Nelson Mandela Square – enjoy a meal on the piazza and indulge in some retail therapy.
Where to stay
The Michaelangelo Hotel overlooks the square and offers five-star accommodation.