Proposed Pretoria name change slated

2011-11-22 22:34

Pretoria - Political parties and civic rights bodies have condemned reported plans to rename Pretoria as Tshwane before the end of 2012.

The groups reacted to Tshwane metro Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa's assertion on Monday that Pretoria and 21 of its streets would be renamed irrespective of the cost or the opposition to the move.

Civic rights group AfriForum's lawyer Willie Spies said it made "no sense" to rename Pretoria, while Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) spokesperson Conrad Beyers said Ramokgopa's statement was simply a smokescreen to deflect criticism from poor service delivery.

The Democratic Alliance's Tshwane spokesperson Elmarie Linde said his statements were part of an African National Congress tactic to deflect criticism over allegations of inefficiency and corruption.

"Time and again, when the ANC is with its back against the wall, name changes appear from nowhere," Linde said in a statement.

Ramokgopa made the remarks at the unveiling of the names of 13 victims on the city's Wall Of Names at Freedom Park. The 13 were shot dead during a 1985 protest against high rentals.

Linde said: "Changing a name will not put bread on our people's tables, neither will it create jobs, neither will it fix the billing crisis."

She said Pretoria was one of 19 municipalities and town councils that had been incorporated into the Tshwane metropolitan municipality.

"Pretoria will always be Pretoria, it is part of our country and our city heritage," Linde said.

She said the DA was in favour of renaming streets in tribute to those who died in the Mamelodi Massacre, but street renaming would be opposed by the DA until all streets and townships had been named.

She said too many people still had no proper street names for their addresses.

An example was Soshanguve's Ward 37, where Extension 20 had been on hold since 2005 due to the delay in street naming.

"Without a physical address, one cannot open a bank account, apply for loans or even have a cellphone account," Linde said.

This was an infringement of people's right to belong, she said.

Spies said AfriForum would send a letter to Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile on Tuesday afternoon to warn him not to accept Ramokgopa's name change attempts.

"It simply makes no sense to want to give a new name to Pretoria, one of a great many places within a mega municipal area".

He said AfriForum had previously informed Mashatile that any attempt to proclaim the name Tshwane would be met with a court application.

Beyers said: "The mayor had at the time of his inauguration undertaken not to focus on an emotional issue such as the changing of names, but rather on service delivery.

"Now that he is experiencing criticism with regards to service delivery, he is trying to cover it up by falling back on populist sentiments of the ANC."

He said it was ironic that Ramokgopa had made these "polarising statements" at Freedom Park, which was intended as a monument for reconciliation.

While the FF Plus believed a settlement on the name change was possible, Beyers said Ramokgopa's rhetoric would "force all parties back to the political trenches".

  • nasser.chothia - 2011-11-22 23:10

    Referring to AfriForum as a civic rights group put a smile on my face. Thank you.

      nikki.bodenstein - 2011-11-23 04:41

      Most people who don't know what they are talking about also tend to just smile and nod.

      MastersVoice - 2011-11-23 10:30

      What would you call it nasser?

      raath - 2011-11-23 14:42

      Yeah, ignorance is bliss...

  • Heinrich - 2011-11-22 23:53

    I think this man who calls himself a mayor should publish the list of priorities, which was compiled in conjunction with the people of Pretoria, together with budgeted cost of each item. Elementary planning. Elementary democracy. I don't think he ever got that far, but he sure draws that SALARY!!

      Jean - 2012-02-23 14:44

      Excellent comment!I have the same impression!Destuctive behaviour! I think his comrades love him to bits....

  • Richard - 2011-11-23 00:11

    Great idea to rename some streets after victims, but as the DA says, 1st help those who have no street names, then make relevant changes not the other way round. Your priorities are backwards mr mayor.

  • clinton.white1 - 2011-11-23 03:08

    @Refilwe IronMan Rakoma....Guess we will just call you ironman from now on wont we!!!!

  • nikki.bodenstein - 2011-11-23 04:50

    @Refilwe IronMan Rakoma - I don't care if the ruling party is Black, pink or purple. I have a problem with incompetent, unqualified and corrupt people running our country into the ground. I've noticed a groaning trend overly racist black people lately, can't think why? Your people are in charge now, apartheid is basically flipped since you have affirmative action, black empowerment and white man tax. Still I'm not complaining nor do I hate black people, never have. I work for myself, I don't blame everyone around me for the problems I'm faced with. I guess that's a cultural difference, we're used to working for things and earning an honest living. I wish I can say the same for you, based your racist comments, you're probably one of those malema zombies who can't think for himself, feels self entitled and runs around expecting hand out from everyone because your ancestors were oppressed many moons ago. Shame, you have no interest in building a new south africa built on equality like Madiba had planned, it's all about what you can get for the least amount of effort.

  • Gillmer - 2011-11-23 05:56

    Funny seeing all the hype about the name change, and I don’t agree with it, but living in NZ NO ONE knows what Tshwane is, even during World Cup with all the tourists here from all countries and they ask where you are from, they frown when you say Tshwane…. But say Pretoria and you hear “Oh the capital of SA” So it will only be “locally” relevant as the rest of the World don’t know it! Pretoria will always stay the Capital of SA. It is a waste of money to change it, rather use it helping the poor.

  • Erich - 2011-11-23 06:08

    Why not build something of value and name that? Because it is so much easier just to rename something someone else has built ....... sad.

      raath - 2011-11-23 14:43

      You need vision to build something.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-23 06:14

    Costs don't bother the ANC, we know that by now. Priorities as well, the poor people living with no street names are far less important than the fun they get out of irritating mlungus by threatening to change things that may be seen to be taking away from them. A corny group, the ANC.

  • Tc - 2011-11-23 06:44

    We all know the Plunderign ANC has no respect for public opinion. They are driven by a desire to plunder and enrich themselves. They survive by fuelling anti-White sentiment amongst Black voters. The question is "how long will Black voters still tolerate being deceived in this way by the damn ANC?"

  • Pete - 2011-11-23 07:06

    Tell you what people..... The clever people in power in Durban changed street names - unconstitutionally I might add - and didn't care what anyone else thought! "So tough", they said - "just live with it". You know what, even black people who knew where Grey street was/is, don't know who Dr. Yusuf Dadoo was. That is what Grey Street is called now...... I mean, I ask you.... Here is some unknown (by most) "freedom fighter" - or maybe he was an activist - who knows, with a street called by his name. Then there is Che Guevera Street - formerly Moore Road....... PLEASE! What the hell did he have to do this this country anyway! And you tell me if the average man in the street even knows who that was? In any case, they still call the streets by their old names, Blacks, Whites, Indians, Coloureds. What a huge waste of time and money - money that could have been MUCH better spent..... All I can say is FIGHT it Pretoria citizens, stick to your guns (oops, I'll be accused of hate speech just now)!

  • Clive - 2011-11-23 07:35

    Really dont care what they name and call Pretoria, they should get on with it and over and done. Then at least they will have one less ghost to frighten the public with every time they are at a lack of explanaitions for their ineptitude and "grand" theft (corruption). The sooner this happens - the sooner the masses will see through their shameful guise of blaming the uselessnes on everything else but their own incompetence. While you are at it Mr Mayor, sommer have a head cast/figure of non-existent Chief Thswene/Thswane (you dont even know his name yourselves) made and it replaced on top of Paul Kruger's statue. You cannot build or create only destroy and rename. Pretoria will always be Pretoria - no matter what you try to call it!

      Herman - 2011-11-23 07:51

      Well said

  • Pawel - 2011-11-23 07:39

    What a joke ,,,,

  • Gammat - 2011-11-23 08:07

    Maybe its a good thing because Pretoria is just a shadow of what it used to be. Its like trash, when you buy a hamburger, its not thrash, but once you've consumed it, the container becomes thrash, and some 12 hours later, what remains become feces. So yes, rename it because it is about to be trashed and turned into feces.

  • Dave - 2011-11-23 08:13

    This is of course another to enrich their friends who be told - not by tender either - that they have to reprint all the official documnets etc etc etc. What a waste of time and money when services are not probably handled - Mr Mayor please get off your ass and try and call your totally inefficient Call Centre to report a power problem or even worse go and stand in the que to solve an incorrect bill. Get your priorities in a row and forget about renaming palces / streets until you can deliver the essential services that are required - NOT lining your friends pockets with money. Rather give services to those poor people out there who do not even have water or decent sanitary services!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Makaveli - 2011-11-23 08:36

    I do not understand white people whining about name changing. Pretoria should be renamed Tshwane. And some few street names needs to change as well. 90% of towns and streets in SA still have afrikaans names and that is simply unacceptable.

      Herman - 2011-11-23 08:51

      Tell me why the people whose names are to replace the current one's deserve it, what did they ever do for Pretoria??

      raath - 2011-11-23 09:36

      Who founded Pretoria? Who brought paved roads to Africa? You build it, you name it. Fair enough.

      Koketso - 2011-11-23 17:03

      Very simple solution, you built it on our land, take it with you and go back to Europe and live our land as you found it. you people are cowards, you have very little faith in this country but you are still here, go, go back we will sort our own problems ourselves. you call us stupid but you cant even learn any of our languages, whilst we know all of yours. who's the stupid really?

      raath - 2011-11-25 10:29

      @Koketso. Should we take the internet, electricity, shoes, and surnames with us too?

  • Peter - 2011-11-23 08:50

    So what will happen when the ANC gets voted out? - change all the names back to what they were?

  • Thandi - 2011-11-23 09:47

    Lets follow the naming sequence: - Pretoria - Tshwane - Zumakwane - Malemane - Desolationkwane

      Herman - 2011-11-23 09:59

      Yip, that is the route.

      sparkle.fruit - 2011-11-23 11:31

      thandi o setlaela motho ke wena ga ke tshepe o le motho o montsho...ur a fake

      Koketso - 2011-11-23 17:06

      Thandi "McDonald"... need I say more

  • Lee - 2011-11-23 09:50

    Renaming towns and cities costs not only the country, but the world billions, the stupid ANC is at it again. The whole ANC needs to be re-educated; because my guess is that they only have Kindergarten certificates, while they need at least a high school certificate to understand economy and that it costs the tax payer money to rename things!!!

  • Paddy - 2011-11-23 10:24

    Sometimes I don't know where I'm driving to anymore...........I cannot even spell most of these (new) places. I wonder if they can?

  • Boss - 2011-11-23 11:17

    Here is a suggestion all non-idiots can support. RENAME the mayor. It will cost nothing. We can give him many suitable names. It can be fun. We don't have to agree on anythting BUT the suggested names will soon speak for itself or better himself. Let me start with a super suggestion. Whasientso Whakgopa - off coase pronounced the New Zealand way where the WHA is Fuc. So begins the fun and a new era. Rename the renamers. [I have copy right on that - but maybe it's also a state secret] Rotciv

  • Pierre - 2011-11-23 12:12

    So rectifying history will also need to include names like Delarey, Shaka .....

  • Kevin - 2011-11-23 12:58

    Tswane , such an ugly name . Again we will be the laughing stock of the World with a government that is a circus act with very stupid clowns

      Koketso - 2011-11-23 16:45

      do you even know what the word "Tshwane" means? such ignorance.

  • Koketso - 2011-11-23 16:43

    I understand why most white, esp afrikaner, ppl are opposed to this notion as they think we, black ppl, are trying to wipe their history out. but I think that if you step out of your world, you will notice that South Africa today reflects very little the majority of those who live in it and its big cities... South Africa, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria all European names. In Pretoria Cbd there is not even a single street named after anyone African(black) but the majority of ppl who live there are African. do you not feel that African history was wiped out a long time ago and replaced with yours?

      raath - 2011-11-25 10:34

      Nice FB profile pic. A white boy avatar noggal. Interesting...

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