Does SA need to change place names? Yes or no.

By admin
29 November 2013

Teaser: Some towns in South Africa are getting new names or old ones are being corrected. Is this necessary?

Yes.SizakeleNgomane (27) of Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, says it is about time that town and street names in South Africa represent all cultures and history. “It’s a good idea to change town names so we can also get to know our history,” she says. She is tired of seeing Afrikaans street names, which she says she can’t pronounce.

She believes many of those who were honoured in the past with street or town names were oppressors who disadvantaged many people, and that many of the original names of places used by the black Africans were sidelined for foreign names. “We have our own heroes who deserve to have streets or towns named after them,” she says.

Sizakele says it’s also a chance for people to discover African languages and history. “I know what Tshwane means because it has been talked about,” she says. She also points out that some town names were either misspelt or are insulting to those that live there and therefore need to be corrected. “I think the government is trying to correct all the mistakes of the past, which is a good thing.”

People can only be proud and know who they are if they see African names on the streets. After all, there are 11 official languages and this should be represented in our daily life, she adds.