The time for the facelift of South Africa's oldest public space has finally arrived. R21 million has been forked out to repave and upgrade the previously run-down Grand Parade, which is set to serve as a fan park for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Keeping an eye on the proceedings is the sandstone City Hall, with its elaborate Renaissance-style columns and slightly out-of-place Big Ben-proportioned clock tower. The place is a landmark when it comes to South African history: one of the biggest multiracial protests against apartheid culminated here on 14 September 1989, and the following year Nelson Mandela made his first public speech from the City Hall balcony, just hours after his release from prison. Cape Town mayor Helen Zille recently released a proposal for the restoration of the City Hall and its conversion into a culture and music centre.