Vuyisile Mini Square (Market Square) is steeped in history right up to the day when the square was changed from Market Square to Vuyisile Mini Square, on 6 November 2010. The naming of the Vuyisile Mini Square tied in with the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Mini, who was a trade unionist, was one of the first freedom activists to be hanged by the Apartheid government. The square is located near the Harbour. Vuyisile Mini Square (Market Square) was the spot where the 23 black workers were killed by police and a white vigilante in 1920. The victims were workers in the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union in the city. They were demanding the release of Samuel Masabalala, their leader, who had been arrested for fighting for 10 shillings per day for workers.
The Square is one of the most noteworthy landmarks of Port Elizabeth. The landing beach was nearby in the early days and the handling of most of the goods in and out of the city was done through the Square. This fact turned the square into a busy trading ground for the local farmers. A bell was installed to alert the community that trading was taking place and the bell also served as a fire alarm.
1835: Public Library was constructed
1858: to 1862: City Hall was constructed
1903: Unveiling of the Queen Victoria statue in the Square
1973: The City Hall was declared a national monument
2014: October 03 approval to erect a statue of Vuyisile Mini on the Square
Vuyisile Mini was a union leader, an Umkhonto we Sizwe, and a singer. He was the first ANC member to be executed by the government. He died in 1964.
On 03 October 2014 approval was passed for a revamp of the square (See: Vuyisile Mini statue approved by Council):
- A permanent piece of public art commemorating Vuyisile Mini, procured from an experienced sculptor of good standing.
- A temporary statue of Vuyisile Mini.
- Further parking is to be considered behind the Feathermarket Centre where parking had been allocated for Councillors and the general public, but not used at the moment,
- Redesign of Vuyisile Mini Square to ensure that it is clear for the use of the general public with limited parking areas.
Date: October 08, 2015 10:58
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