R27m facelift for iconic Cape Town City Hall - [http://cdn.primedia.co.za/primedia-broadcasting/image/upload/c_fill,h_289,q_70,w_463/snh8lhtibu6c0makyys7]

The iconic Cape Town City Hall has been earmarked for a series of upgrades to take place over the next three years.

Built in 1905, the building recently had its main entrance hall repainted and work is currently underway on its roof. Nelson Mandela made his first speech as a free man from the City Hall balcony on 11 February 1990.Mandela served 27 years on Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison.He only served one term as president and stepped down in June 1999.

A towering figure, his fist in the air, he emerged from the gates of Victor Verster Prison in Cape Town, signifying the end of an era.

The City of Cape Town’s Stuart Diamond says R27 million has been set aside for facelift.

“While some might feel that the cost is excessive, we need to bare in mind that this building has immense heritage values and is 111 years old. Its maintenance has to be done with utmost care to reserve its integrity as a heritage building.”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has encouraged all South Africans to apply Madiba’s humility, tact and penchant for dialogue to face the country’s challenges.

The foundation will on Monday launch the Nelson Mandela Centenary programme to mark 100 years since his birth.