Gauteng Tourist AttractionsGroenkloof National Heritage Monument
In the middle of Groenkloof Nature Reserve stand a series of life-sized bronze statues. They are the anti-apartheid struggle heroes. Over 50 of them are collectively known as the Long Walk to Freedom, reflecting the long history of the country’s liberation.
The figures range from heroic figures at the front of anti-colonial wars, to modern freedom fighters. Amongst them are King Dingane, Olive Schreiner and Albertina Sisulu. It is a way to honour all, leaving out none.
And so, by the time it is completed, there will be 400 figures in the park. They are beautiful, hewn from bronze by some of the best artists in the country. As part of the project, spearheaded by Dali Tambo, CEO of the National Heritage Project Company, artists were invited to respond with their availability and their willingness to train less experienced people.
Nowhere else in the world is there such a challenging display of sculptures, or one that so obviously represents the country’s heritage. The monument is regarded as a place for self-reflection; a sacred space where individuals can connect with their inner-selves.
All the statues face the same way, moving forward on their Long Walk to Freedom. The main financial contributors to the project have been the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Lottery, but the private sector, foreign governments and investors are being approached for further investment.
Statues already erected include: Yusuf Dadoo, Charlotte Maxeke, Solomon Tshekiso Plaatje, King Mzilikazi Khumalo, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Steve Biko, Clements Kadalie, Trevor Huddleston, Cissie Gool, John Dube, Chief Kgamanyane Pilane and Nelson Mandela.
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve is just 5 km out of Pretoria. Take the R21 and enter via the Fountains Valley Resort.