The Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument (ATM) last week looked back on and honoured the builders who constructed this iconic monument between 1972 and 1974 at a reception at the monument.

As part of the ATM’s 45th year of existence in 2020, the institution undertook an oral remembrance study with the workers, artisans and foremen that has now culminated a unique exhibition where the “unknowns”, who carried out this great project, are paid tribute to.

A total of ten workers and informants, as well as their spouses, attended the event where representatives of the media and dignitaries were also present. These included councillors Kobus du Plessis of the Cape Winelands District Municipality, Johan Miller of Drakenstein Municipality and Jeremy Fasser of Stellenbosch Municipality as well as dr. Hendrik Theys of the Afrikaanse Taalraad.

The ATM’s director, Michael Jonas, welcomed everyone and thanked them for the incredible building project of which they were a part of, after which Miller gave an overview of the project before the ATM’s curator, Chantelle de Kock, explained what the oral remembrance study and exhibition entails.

The builders’ contribution was further recognised by the handing over of a “passport” to them (or a representative) which gives the holder lifelong free access to the Taalmonument and all activities there. Darryn Kenned entertained the guests with music after which a delicious meal was served.

The “builders’ exhibition” can be seen in the Visitor Centre at the Taalmonument, but more information and historical photos about the building project and memories can be read online at