Nelson Mandela Square
The Square in 2015
|Former name(s)||Sandton Square|
|Location||Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa|
Nelson Mandela Square is a public square and shopping centre in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. The square was formerly known as Sandton Square and was named for the former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in March 2004. A six meter high statue of Mandela was unveiled at the ceremony to rename the square. It is attached to the large Sandton City shopping centre, together forming one of the largest retail complexes on the continent with over 400 stores.
The Square, then known by its original name of Sandton Square, was first opened to the public in 1994. On its 10th anniversary, in 2004, it was officially renamed Nelson Mandela Square after the unveiling of a Bronze, six-meter tall statue of Mandela. It was the first public statue of Mandela in the country. It was commissioned in July 2002 and completed in February 2004 by South African Sculptors Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane. It weighs approximately 2.5 tons.
The decision to name the Square after Mandela was criticized by some as Mandela had long stood for the disadvantaged and the square stands in the most opulent area of the country. Gary Vipond, the Square's manager, defended the decision by explaining that, "The Square is optimistic, expressive and confident, like the Madiba jive, and represents a sophisticated, eclectic, cosmopolitan success story."
The Square is connected to Sandton City and, together, they form the largest retail complex in Africa. The Square itself is approximately 1000m2 and houses many shops, restaurants and a library on the far end.
- Chandrea Gerber. "Joburg unveils Mandela statue". South Africa Info - Joburg unveils Mandela statue. South Africa Info. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- "Nelson Mandela Square: About Us". Retrieved 17 February 2016.