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16 Feb 2008 09:53
A 106m statue of King Shaka Zulu ka Senzangakhona will be built on the banks of Thukela River north of Durban, the Weekender newspaper reported on Saturday.
The statue would cost R200-million to build and was expected to be 13m higher than the Statue of Liberty in New York.
In his state of the province address, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sbu Ndebele announced a memorandum of understanding with a Dubai-based developer for the erection of the statue.
He suggested that the statue would become a tourist destination like the Statue of Liberty or the Arc de Triomphe.
In addition to the Dubai developers, the project has the support of the Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal, the province’s heritage body, Amafa and the Ingonyama Trust, which administers traditional land.
The project was was expected to deliver significant benefits for the tourism sector, the newspaper reported.
A feasibility study estimated that the statue would attract 4Â 000, presumably paying, visitors a day.
The statue will be built near the resort village of Blythedale, 90km north of Durban, which may be inaccessible to the millions of tourists who visit the province each year, said the Weekender.
It was not clear why an alternative proposal to build the statue at the mouth of Durban harbour was turned down.
“[The] imposing statue will be erected through private funding,” said Ndebele.
A concept proposal from his office suggested private funders could expect a 25% return in the first year. - Sapa
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