Return of the statue of ‘hope’

The Hope statue has returned to the Black River with her infant called South Africa.

Motorists on the M5 highway have become accustomed to seeing symbolic statues floating on the Black River near the N2 interchange.

The statue of the woman named Hope has resurfaced and this time she has a baby.

Plumstead resident Fred du Preez and his team were responsible for placing the statue in the river on Human Rights Day last Thursday, March 21.

The aim is to inspire South Africans.

“Her infant baby is called South Africa, let’s hope the infant can grow,” said Mr Du Preez.

“It was a positive thing putting something into the water called Hope on a day called Human Rights Day,” he said.

Mr Du Preez, who is an art director for a film studio, has previously placed other statues in the Black River with different messages for the country.

Hope was last seen in 2017 holding a South African flag.

A statue of a blue woman in graduation gear was created in response to the Fees Must Fall movement (“Lady of hope visits the Black River,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, May 25, 2017)

The new Hope statue has been moved further down from the previous location because the water level of the Black River has dropped.

Mr Du Preez thanked the team of people who have been helping him place the statues in the river over the past nine years.

He said it was a difficult job especially when they had to contend with strong winds.

Lindile Matshaya from Khayelitsha has worked closely with Mr Du Preez on the statue.

“It’s difficult working on the statue, especially when we need to put it in the Black River water that is polluted,” he said.

He said the statue of Hope was looking out for the Black River and he would like to encourage other people to do the same.

Mr Du Preez would like to inspire other people through the positive message of the statue.

“Look after the water, look after the country,” he said.