Pretoria's name to stay as it is

Johannesburg - Pretoria looks set to keep its name, but about 27 street names in the capital will change, according to a report on Friday.

This is the ANC's "offer" in behind-the-scenes negotiations currently under way in the controversial name change battle, Beeld newspaper reported.

The Tshwane metro's mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, met opposition party members to discuss the issue on Thursday. The council announced in 2008 that the names of many streets "that were offensive because of their colonial and apartheid associations" had been identified.

New names for these streets had been identified in a draft document drawn up by the council. Only two street names, Pretorius and Paul Kruger, had been retained.

Others, such as Schoeman, Van der Walt, Andries, DF Malan, Prinsloo, Genl Louis Botha, Skinner, Kerk, Walker/Charles, Queen Wilhelmina, Voortrekkers, Mears, Beatrix, Hendrik Verwoerd, Hans Strijdom, Vermeulen, Potgieter and Duncan, would change.

Opposition parties were still trying to retain the names of Church and Voortrekker streets.

Ramokgopa was expected to make an official announcement next week.

Brandon Topham, DA leader in the Tshwane metro council, said his party was delighted the ANC seemed to be trying not to push the name changes through in an insensitive manner.

"Everyone's history should be reflected in the city, and nobody is going to end up 100% happy with the process," he said.

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