City to celebrate 175th year in style

2013-03-15 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG can expect an extreme makeover in preparation for the city’s 175th birthday this year. Sprucing up is on top of the list of the birthday preparation plans, which were presented to the Msunduzi executive committee (Exco) yesterday.

The plan will include grass cutting and cleaning up the rubbish and litter. The central business district and the entrances to the city will also be beautified.

A special task team has been formed to co-ordinate events and Exco was told that the celebrations would kick off at the Royal Show in May and end with a gala dinner in November. In between, there will be a carnival in the city.

All major events like the Comrades Marathon will also present occasions to celebrate.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi told Exco that the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the uMgungundlovu District Municipality would partner with the Msunduzi Tourism Association, the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, the Royal Agriculture Society, media, museums and historical organisations in the city, and the Msunduzi Innovation and Development Institute.

Nkosi said the task team was working on a budget for the celebrations and a detailed programme, which will be presented to council shortly.

In his report to Exco, Nkosi noted that Pietermaritzburg was one of the oldest Victorian cities in the world and that two of the world’s best-known statesmen, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, had strong historical links with the city.

He said the aim of the 175th celebrations was to educate citizens about the history of the city and to build a sense of community, “to embrace the past, celebrate the present and work towards the future for a better city for generations to come”.

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