Overlooking the city of Pretoria like a modern day acropolis, the Union Buildings commemorate a 100 years this year. With the passing of former South African president, Nelson Mandela, the Union Buildings plan to not only observe a centenary but also honour one of the country’s greatest statesmen.
The Union Buildings form the official seat of South Africa’s government and house The Presidency as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1908, it took around 1265 artisans, workmen and labourers almost three years to build. 14 million bricks were used for the interior office walls, half a million cubic feet of freestone, 74 000 cubic yards of concrete, 40 000 bags of cement and 20 000 cubic feet of granite.
The Maboneng Precinct will be home to a 40m high mural painted to honour Madiba’s legacy. Maboneng literally means “place of light”, making it a fitting resting place for an homage to the beloved Tata Nelson Mandela, who was himself, a beacon of light to many.
What we have seen over the past few days reflects the true spirit of South Africa as a place where people of all backgrounds are working together to create a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous society. These efforts are creating the hope that we will achieve even greater things than we have during the first 20 Years of Freedom.
This week Tata Madiba will be laid to rest in ceremony. If you would like to pay your respects to the father of our nation there are a number of public gatherings happening this week.
The festive season is often a jolly time, filled with family, friends and merry-making. But, in between the flurry of shopping, eating and partying, it is also the perfect time to be introspective and see how you can extend your joyful time to those less fortunate.
Giving to charity is one way you can make a difference to the lives of others. Giving also doesn’t necessarily mean the donation of money. You can give time, useful items and knowledge.