Industry-leading mining and resource company Exxaro, in partnership with the Rotarians of Rotary District 9400 (part of a worldwide network of community volunteers), and with permission and endorsement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the South African National Council for the Blind and Stanlib, unveiled a special statue of Nelson Mandela on 23 November in Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg.
The significance of this one-metre tall Madiba statue is that it is intended for the visually impaired – allowing them to experience the statue in their own unique way. The new statue was created by Kobus Hattingh, who sculpted the iconic six-metre original on which it is based, and which already occupies the Square.
The aim of the project is to keep Madiba’s inspiring legacy alive for ordinary South Africans, and to raise awareness of the challenges faced by visually impaired people in Africa and beyond.
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo explains, “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to change people’s lives through our partnership with Rotary This partnership is the core of our purpose which is to powering better lives and we hope that this statue will be a symbol of our commitment to social cohesion and inclusivity.”
David Grant, a past Governor of Rotary District 9400, and leader of the replica statue project, says Rotary is very appreciative of the generous support that it has received from Exxaro Resources Ltd to make the replica statue a reality. "Peace and reconciliation is one of the focus areas of Rotary initiatives world-wide. We feel very honoured for the opportunity to help convey the message of peace for which the late Nelson Mandela is so highly regarded and respected as a world statesmen.”
Mgojo was joined at the Madiba statue unveiling by high-profile attendees like Department of Arts & Culture Director-General Vusumuzi Mkhize who performed the unveiling honours.