Brandfort, Hoffman Square in Free State may be renamed to honour struggle icons - report

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Winnie Madikizela Mandela pictured in 2013.
Winnie Madikizela Mandela pictured in 2013.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
  • Among landmarks pegged for renaming may be the historic Free State town of Brandfort.
  • The town will reportedly be renamed to honour Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
  • A statue of Madikizela-Mandela is set to be unveiled in the town.

The historical Free State town of Brandfort and Hoffmanplein in Bloemfontein are among a list of locations in the province to be renamed.

The Free State MEC for Sport, Art, Culture and Recreation Limkatso Mahasa said the sites would be renamed in her department’s Budget speech on Tuesday, according to Netwerk24.

Mahasa reportedly said Brandfort will be renamed after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and a statue erected in her honour.

The statue will be built in the new financial year, Mahasa said.  

It is not yet clear what name will be given to the town.

According to a speech, Mahasa said: 

In line with the heritage landscape transformation goal the Department has been part of the process of restoration work of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Museum in Brandfort.

"Physical restoration of the Museum is completed and currently the National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture is finalising the appointment of a service provider who will compile historical research that will inform the Museum exhibition."

Madikizela-Mandela was placed under house arrest in Brandfort in 1977, and the property she stayed in has been earmarked to become a museum.

Other struggle icons to be honoured in the province are Fezile Dabi and Albertina Sisulu. A statue of Dabi will be erected at Fezile Dabi Stadium in Parys, and one of Sisulu will be unveiled in Tweeling.

"To further preserve our heritage, history and celebrate our struggle heroines, we will rename Hoffman Square in Charlotte Maxeke Street into Charlotte Maxeke Park, subject to proper procedural and consultative processes as required by the relevant legislation. This will be followed by the erection of the statue of Mama Charlotte Maxeke in the same Hoffman Square," said Mahasa.

Further plans to ensure leaders of the freedom movement are honoured by renaming landmarks will be released soon.

READ | City of Joburg considers changing William Nicol drive to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela drive

The ANC in the province has been vocal in calling for a renaming process.

Free State ANC secretary Paseka Nompondo said “democratic breakthrough has afforded communities to participate in the process of naming and renaming of public assets”, which could in turn, through the naming of new areas and streets, improve service delivery.

The renaming of towns and landmarks has been hotly debated following several changes in the Eastern Cape. The new names include Port Elizabeth changing to Gqeberha, the Port Elizabeth International Airport to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport, East London Airport to King Phalo Airport, Uitenhage to Kariega, King William’s Town to Qonce and Maclear to Nqanqarhu.

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