Names given soon

2015-05-05 06:00
Names of prominent South Africans have been put forwards for seven footbridges over the N2.

nicole mccain

Names of prominent South Africans have been put forwards for seven footbridges over the N2. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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The naming of seven footbridges along the N2 highway is set to be finalised at the next council meeting.

The City of Cape Town’s naming committee has recommended specific names for the seven footbridges crossing Nelson Mandela Boulevard and Rhodes Drive.

These recommendations are with the mayor for approval, says naming committee chairperson Brett Herron.

“If the mayor supports these names, they will be recommended to council for a final decision during the next council meeting,” he says.

The seven names were chosen from over 2000 proposals submitted by Capetonians during a public participation process that was conducted during November 2013 and February 2014, says Herron.

“In the end, 638 compliant naming proposals – ranging from well-known South Africans to general names honouring our rich cultural heritage and fauna and flora – were considered by the committee,” Herron says.

However, during the public participation period some community members spoke out against the naming, saying it was a waste of resources (“Naming route an ‘utter waste’”, People’s Post, 7 November 2013).

The proposed names include /A!kunto, the first contributor to the Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd Archive of /xam and !kun texts, and Dawid Kruiper, a traditional healer and leader of the Khomani San in the Kalahari who spoke for the rights of indigenous people at the United Nations in 1994 and led the way for successful land claims for the San people in South Africa.

Tuan Guru, regarded as the father of Islam in South Africa, has also been put forward by the naming committee. He was banished by the Dutch invaders to the Cape in 1780 and was incarcerated on Robben Island for 12 years where he wrote several copies of the Holy Qur’an from memory.

Other religious figures have also be honoured in the proposal, such as Father John Oliver, the Anglican priest from District Six who founded the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative and spent many years building bridges between the different faiths, highlighting our similarity rather than our differences, and Father Basil van Rensburg, the South African Catholic priest who gained international recognition for his fight against the apartheid regime’s forced removal of the people of District Six.

Iconic South African poet Ingrid Jonker, whose poem “Die Kind” was read out by former President Nelson Mandela during the opening of South Africa’s first democratic parliament in May 1994, and well-known and loved singer, composer and director Taliep Petersen, who won the highest honour in British theatre with David Kramer, have also been put forward as names for the footbridges

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