President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially unveiled a statue in honour of the late struggle stalwart and global icon Oliver Reginald Tambo at OR Tambo International Airport. Unveiled on Tuesday, the nine-metre tall bronze statue of OR Tambo comes at exactly 103 years since the birth of the globally respected leader.
“This statue forms part of Ekurhuleni’s bold vision to see our country’s liberation history prominently displayed in the province’s tourism hubs.
“Like the statue of President Mandela at the Union Buildings in Tshwane, I have no doubt that this one too will become a tourist attraction and that it will become an essential stop for visitors to the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct, which is doing so much to preserve the legacy of this great man,” said the President.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor Mzwandile Masina and members of the Tambo family joined the President at the unveiling.
The statue, which is situated outside the airport, pays tribute to the man who worked tirelessly to forge international support for the anti-apartheid struggle.
“It is therefore most fitting that this statue has been erected here at this airport that bears his name, and that is a gateway to the continent and to the world.
“As they take their first steps on South African soil, visitors to our country will see this magnificent bronze gleaming in the sunlight. This statue is a colossus, as was the man it commemorates,” said the President.
Following the unveiling, the President proceeded to unveil the R950 million Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, which promises to be a significant boost to South Africa’s tourism economy.
The hotel, which is scheduled to open its doors to the public on 2 November 2020, will debut the Radisson Hotel Group’s fourth brand, the upscale Radisson, in South Africa and is one of the key projects and catalysts towards the realisation of the City of Ekurhuleni’s 30-year Aerotropolis Masterplan.
This plan seeks to transform the city into a global logistics hub with OR Tambo International as the springboard.
The 248-room hotel boasts state-of-the-art facilities suited to discerning leisure hospitality as well as meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions (“MICE”) which serves business guests.
Once opened, the Radisson Hotel is set to create 565 full time jobs.