Choose your country and language:
BBuilt in 1905, Cape Town’s City Hall is the first place from where Nelson Mandela spoke after his release from prison in 1990.
The honey-coloured City Hall in Cape Town has seen many changes in its years of standing vigil on the Grand Parade. It has seen South Africa develop into the multi-cultural melting pot that it is today, and played a very important role in that change.
Addressing over 10 000 jubilant people just hours after his release, Mandela famously had to borrow his wife’s reading glasses as he had left his in prison. His speech, started with the words: "Comrades and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom. I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you the people."
TThe Hall itself is made up of components from all over the world. The honey-coloured stone, which makes up its façade of limestone, was imported from Bath in England. The tower houses a clock and a number of bells, modelled on the famous Big Ben. The clock strikes the hours and chimes the Westminster quarters, which is a particular chime originating from St Mary’s Cathedral in England. The faces of the clock are made from four skeleton iron dials filled with opal. Originally built to house the City of Cape Town’s offices, it now plays host to a number of cultural and artistic events such as performances by the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra.
A Grand old building Cape Town’s City Hall
IIn 2017, it was proposed that a full size statue of Nelson Mandela be installed on the balcony from where he famously addressed his people. An exhibition inside the City Hall dedicated to the great man will also be a permanent feature.
TThe City Hall and Grand Parade are adjacent to the Castle of Good Hope, also a historic and very interesting landmark. Visiting the City Hall is a must for anyone who is following the Cape Town Liberation Route, as well as anyone who is interested in architecture. The beautiful old building still has many stories to tell.
The AmaXhosa are part of three nations known as Nguni that are found in South Africa. The other two are AmaSwazi and AmaZulu. The AmaXhosa settled in the Eastern Cape and over time spread to the Western Cape.
As a nation that boasts about its rich culture, the Basotho can trace their origins to the pre-historic age.
The Ndebele of South Africa constitute one group of people whose identity has survived precarious conditions and existential crisis under the weight of changing power dynamics of internal and external factors from pre-colonial to present times.
Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions
Mining in South Africa has been a contentious issue since 15-year-old Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs discovered South Africa’s first diamond, the Eureka, in Hopetown in 1867.
South Africa is made up of people who have been in the country since the beginning of time, as well as others who arrived either as slaves, escapees of persecution in their homelands, or seekers of instant riches.
African ancestors continue to give Africans a shared and personal sense of self-affirmation, identity and unfettered belonging.