The National Heritage Monument, is without a doubt South Africa’s largest and most significant heritage project ever. The headline of the proposed site, a monumental procession of between 400 and 500 life-size bronze statues, representing and celebrating South Africa’s precolonial, colonial and anti-apartheid struggle heroes and heroine, both well-known and lesser known. A total of 50 of these statues already stand in Pretoria’s Groenkloof Reserve, the intended final site of the monument, so there is no doubt the project is well underway and gathering steady momentum.
For so long, much of South Africa’s remarkable struggle history has been shrouded, or left caked in dust somewhere in the dark undiscovered corners of our history. For the first time these amazing stories, stretcthing back over 400 years are coming into the light to be shared with all South Africans as well as international visitors.
The iconic procession, known as the Long Walk to Freedom is said to reflect our country’s journey from the precolonial era to the early wars of dispossession, as well as encompassing the entire liberation struggle.
Several beautiful statues have been created, including well known struggle heroes like Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, as well as Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Chief Albert Lethuli, Yusuf Dadoo, Charlotte Maxeke, Solomon Tshekiso Plaatje, King Shaka Zulu, and King Mzilikazi Khumalo.
Insert images of statues and captions throughout
It is hoped that through this project, the stories of well-known and lesser known heroes and heroines will be told and their contribution celebrated and memorialised. It is also seen as a valuable place of learning where young and old South Africans can learn about their heritage and the important values that come with it. Of course, a site of this size and significance is also seen as having enormous tourism potential both internally and internationally. The Long Walk to Freedom is just part of a proposed heritage complex that will include a commemorative park, amphitheatre, interpretive centre and water park. The opening date is not yet set in stone, but it is speculated that the National Heritage Monument will be opening its doors around Date