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Street renaming and the impact

13 April 2013, 14:26

It has been going in for a long period of time, these name changes of streets and towns, but what is the broad impact of these name changes.

When a street name is being changed, it costs money to change these names. The least costly is the name boards that will be put up and the removal of the old boards. The consultation process is a little more expensive as there are things like venues to be rented, adverts to be published to invite the public for participation, the costs of the dignitaries-travel, time, lodging and meals, never mind their liquor bill.

The broader impact is not felt by the government. Once a name is changed, the businesses on that road need to change all their stationary to reflect the new address, web sites need to be updated, directories need to be updated, map’s need to be updated. And who must pay for this, the struggling business owner.

There is also a further reaching impact than the borders of the community where the name is being changed. National maps need to be updated and as most know, there is Google Maps with street view, they need to be updated, so this impact a foreign company, the GPS maps need to be updated with the new information ect.

Why could the government not change all the required names all at once to minimize the impact of the changes? I do not know what make the changing of names so sporadic. It would seem that most of the name changes come in the months preceding elections. This is a sad state of affairs to think that changing a street name will win a party votes.

It is also a sad state of affairs when Peoples names get attached to streets. Why do they not name streets after animals, plants and insects? These names do not have a direct correlation to the past, the present or the future. Naming a road after a cadre, like the ANC is currently doing will not last, as soon as another party takes over the governance of the country, it will be the same story over again. The new government would feel that the names are inappropriate and change it to honor their members and the cycle will continue.

Change the name for once and leave it alone. An example would be to change Kruger drive to protea drive, or Mandela drive to Lion drive. 

We all know that these ruling parties would just like to honour their members that fought to get them into power, but at what expense? I recommend that all people names be removed from roads and a sustainable alternative be implemented.   

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