News Brief

South African Government Unveils 13 Million Rand Statue Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The South African government has been met with public outrage after it unveiled a 13 million Rand national statue of anti-Apartheid veteran O.R. Tambo during a pandemic that has already resulted in considerable job losses.

The South African government has unveiled a new statue of South African struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo and it has caused public outrage. According to EWN, President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled the 13 million Rand statue yesterday right next to O.R. Tambo International airport. Public criticism over the exorbitant expenditure and the fact that the statue is aesthetically disappointing had the official unveiling trending on Twitter. The outrage is warranted with South Africa's current youth unemployment rate reportedly standing at just over 52 percent. Additionally, a number of government officials are reportedly facing corruption charges for alleged collusion in billions worth of missing COVID-19 funds. President Ramaphosa's speech implied that the statue is a strategy to bring in funds as an international tourist attraction.


READ: R20 Million Statues to be Erected in Durban to Encourage 'Black Unity'

The statue reportedly stands at nine meters tall and holds the Freedom Charter in one hand. The Freedom Charter is the ruling African National Congress (ANC)'s cornerstone document and was historically adopted in 1955. Tambo was one of Nelson Mandela's closest friends and together with Walter Sisulu, founded the ruling party's ANC Youth League. While the beginnings of the ANC honoured the South African youth, the unveiling of this statue has polarised the very group that the ANC is dependant on for votes. South Africans have expressed that this statue is admittedly a slap in the face of youth who did not even receive the government's meagre COVID-19 relief stimulus of R350 per month.

President Ramaphosa also revealed during his speech that the erection of the statue was the culmination of a project that began in 2006 with an amount of 30 million Rand, according to PowerFM. Furthermore, a mall costing over four billion Rand is set to be built in close proximity to the location of the statue.

Black Twitter did not hold back from lambasting the South African government about their unnecessary and pricey misstep.






Photo credit should read KELVIN IKPEA/AFP via Getty Images

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Netflix Cancels Second Season of 'Queen Sono' Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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