The Sisulu Circle unveiled

Government delegates and the Sisulu family gather around the multi-million rand Walter Sisulu statue which forms part of the newly unveiled Sisulu circle.

 

Several ministerial delegates and the Sisulu family gathered to unveil the multi-million rand Sisulu Circle in the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden in Poortview on Tuesday, 10 July.

The Sisulu Circle, which consists of a bust of the late anti-apartheid activist, Walter Sisulu, a water feature with aquatic plants, and numerous information and interpretation points, was officially unveiled by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa and the Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom.

The cost to construct the Sisulu Circle totalled R2,5 million and was a collaborative project between the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi), and the Departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

The Sisulu family accepting the framed photo of the Albertina Sisulu orchid from Bill Mincher, the chairman of Wild Orchid SA. Photos: Supplied.

Speaking at the unveiling, Minister Molewa reminded everyone that South Africa is the third-most mega-diverse country in the world, with millions of people annually experiencing the beauty and bounty of our magnificent country through visits to, for example, places such as the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden.“Our natural heritage remains one of the most popular attractions for South Africans, some of whom are able to enjoy brief sojourns to the botanical gardens found in eight of our provinces to reconnect with nature, and to relax,” said the Minister.

“The introduction of the Sisulu Circle here is an ideal opportunity for the public, and in particular the youth, to reconnect with our country’s important heritage. It is an opportunity to not only honour a great man, but to learn more about the role played by Walter Sisulu in the attainment of the democracy and freedoms we have enjoyed since 1994,” she added.

The 276ha Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden was established in 1982, and is one of Sanbi’s network of national botanical gardens across seven provinces of South Africa. Formerly known as the Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden, the garden was renamed the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in 2004, through an initiative taken by the then Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Minister Valli Moosa, to honour the life and work of Walter Sisulu.

Minister Hanekom vowed to continue making a contribution to tourism growth. “Through our modest investment in this new addition to the garden, we are putting our money where our mouth is. We will continue to work with our sister department to improve on public assets of high tourism growth potential – this ensures that our contribution makes a difference in improving their visitor offerings,” he said.

The well-attended occasion also saw a rare orchid found in the garden being named after Mama Albertina Sisulu. The Sisulu family, which was led by former Speaker of Parliament, Max Sisulu, cherished the special moment. Elinor Sisulu appealed to the government to make transport available to the public so that they can visit the garden.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

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Get It Joburg West Magazine

  AUTHOR
Siso Naile
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