William Nicol Drive to be renamed after Mama Winnie

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's legacy has been hotly debated in the wake of her death. (File, Netwerk24)
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's legacy has been hotly debated in the wake of her death. (File, Netwerk24)

William Nicol Drive has been earmarked to be renamed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive.

This was announced by Gauteng MEC for transport Ismail Vadi during the launch of the October Transport Month in Kliptown on Monday.

Madikizela-Mandela died on April 2 this year.

"We have noted that the City of Johannesburg had resolved last Thursday that William Nicol Drive be renamed Winnie Madikezela-Mandela Drive and the Emfuleni council has recommended that the R82 be named in honour of Duma Nokwe," said Vadi.

Several other roads have also been identified for renaming.

"These recommendations will be processed by the Gauteng and national geographic names councils for final decision-making."

Vadi added that the Gauteng department of transport in partnership with the Gauteng geographic names committee would begin public consultations to rename key strategic roads in the province. 

"The names on our road and transport infrastructure may have a technical function but government has a conscious role to play in promoting an inclusive identity with such infrastructure," Vadi said.

"In so doing it should raise citizens' awareness of the heroes and heroines that played significant roles in the country's struggle against apartheid and its people's freedom.

"The naming of the provincial road network does not seek to remove the past but to promote an identity which is inclusive of all the citizens of the country."

The MEC added that Gauteng was known for its economic strength and its historical role in the struggle against injustice and for political freedom and democracy.

"Its (Gauteng) road network and public transport infrastructure need to reflect this rich political history and lend itself to promoting an identity that reflects the political heroes and heroines that contributed to the struggle for freedom and democracy in South Africa."

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