A R5.5m upgrade has been planned for the historic Grand Parade in central Cape Town, a City official said on Monday.
The open space, located opposite City Hall, was where crowds gathered for Nelson Mandela’s first public address after his release from prison in 1990.
Today, it hosts a market and is sometimes used as parking space for special events.
“The Grand Parade is an iconic site, and its upgrade together with the major upgrade of the City Hall will increase the precinct’s profile as an events venue,” said city spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo.
“The precinct is one of our oldest and most central public spaces, with a rich history that resonates with Capetonians as well as visitors to our city, and has been host to many nationally and internationally important events.”
The space was last upgraded in 2010, when buildings were repainted.
With the planned upgrade, room will be made to accommodate law enforcement on site to improve policing and security.
Tyhalibongo said the existing ablution facilities would be upgraded. A row of small kiosks are expected to be demolished and affected traders would be accommodated.
A row of kiosks closest to Plein Street would be refurbished to make the space compliant with South African Bureau of Standards regulations.
Work was planned to commence in February and should be completed by June 30 next year.