Slow public response to Madiba locks initiative

2015-08-11 08:57
Organisers say they are disappointed that more people are not getting involved in the Mandela Legacy Locks initiatve.

Organisers say they are disappointed that more people are not getting involved in the Mandela Legacy Locks initiatve. (Kyle Venktess)

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MADIBA’S Legacy Lock project on a Florida Road fence has left organisers saddened after poor uptake of the initiative.

The brainchild of Durban businessman Patrick Coetzee was first launched in July 2013, months before Nelson Mandela died and was initiated as an attempt to keep former president’s legacy alive.

The concept, taken from similar projects around the world, involves individuals placing a lock of their own onto the fence to support the sentiments of the project.

Coetzee said when the project was first started, the initial uptake of the concept saw many people getting involved. He added that the second surge took place after the death of the icon.

“It is an interesting dynamic to witness. I think that if the cause had been different, maybe there would be more interest in the project. If it was a cause to recognise a lover, or a best friend maybe the uptake would have been different,” he said.

Since the first lock was placed on the fence, there have been between 4 000 and 5 000 other locks placed, far from the target of 10 000 to 20 000 locks.

“If the fence could be filled with locks that would be a statement of the legacy Madiba left behind. We wanted to see photographers at the fence as it was about to collapse from the weight of the locks,” he said.

Numerous local celebrities including the likes of Sharks players, radio DJs and others have made their contribution, but Coetzee said that he wanted more support shown by local and provincial politicians toward the project.

“Maybe news of Nkandla and blue-light brigades is more of a conversation now than the legacy of Madiba is.

“We all complain about the country we live in, about government, about the price of petrol, but at the end of the day that’s just a conversation that ends,” he said.

Coetzee added that the locks were a powerful statement and an opportunity for people to leave their own legacy behind.

“Placing the lock on the fence is a very strong long-term statement. In society we always remember history and need signs and symbols to remember it by. The fence is a reminder of the life of such a remarkable human being,” Coetzee said.

Each year since the since the passing of Mandela, the fence is seen as a shrine to visit to remember him

Read more on:    durban  |  madiba

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