William Nicol Drive to be renamed to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive - here are other female struggle stalwarts honoured in the same way

The fearless Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela 
Credit: Getty images
The fearless Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela Credit: Getty images

Our maps may soon direct us to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive (pronunciation notwithstanding).

Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi said the province has recommended that William Nicol Drive be renamed.

Mam' Winnie was instrumental in the country's attainment of democracy and offered consistent resistance against apartheid.

As the country waits for this recommendation to be processed, here are other women icons who have been honoured with prominent roads and public spaces named being after them.

1. Miriam Makeba Street in Newtown, Johannesburg

Ma Miriam, one of South Africa’s most celebrated musical icons, testified at the United Nations in 1963 about apartheid, which resulted in her South African citizenship being taken away. In 1986, she was awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Peace Prize from the Diplomatic Academy for Peace.

2. Ruth First Highway in Umhlanga, Durban

Ruth, a journalist, academic and political activist, was central in the formation of the South African Communist Party. In the 1950s their home in Roosevelt Park was an important centre for multiracial political gatherings. She was also arrested and charged in the Treason Trial.

READ MORE: 16-year-old Zulaikha Patel is still fighting for women’s rights

3. Lilian Ngoyi Street in Newtown, Johannesburg

Ma Lilian along with Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn and Albertina Sisulu led the 1956 women's anti-pass march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria - one of the largest demonstrations staged in South African history. She was the one who approached apartheid prime minister JG Strijdom to hand over thousands of petitions for the cause.

4. Florence Ribeiro Avenue, Pretoria

Ma Florence diligently served the Mamelodi community. Together with her husband, they collected evidence about the atrocities committed by the apartheid government. They also sheltered and offered assistance to victims of apartheid. Plus they offered financial assistance to many promising pupils in need.

READ MORE: Things we love about Winnie Mandela

5. Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg

Mary became the first woman on the City Council in Johannesburg in 1921. In the following year she was arrested during a Mine Worker’s strike for allegedly leading the group that set fire to the park station.

6. Charlotte Maxeke Street in Pretoria

Ma Charlotte was involved in politics throughout her adult life and helped organise the Bloemfontein anti-pass movement in 1913. She also founded the Bantu Women’s League of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) in 1918.

READ MORE: "For long you may live like orphans, without your own home and parents” – Nelson Mandela’s heartbreaking letter to his daughters

7. Helen Suzman Boulevard in Cape Town

Helen was known for her strong public criticism of the National Party's policies of apartheid. She was a member of parliament for 36 years and a member of the statutory Human Rights Commission after her retirement.

8. Adelaide Tambo Drive in Durban

Ma Adelaide encountered politics when she was 10 years old. She later worked as a nurse at the Pretoria General Hospital and at a home in London. Exiled, she became a founder member of the Afro-Asian Solidarity Movement and the Pan-African Women's Organisation until the unbanning of all political parties.

READ MORE: #AllBlackWithADoek: How South African women are honouring Mam' Winnie Madikizela-Mandela today

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Would you leave your partner if they have a controlling, meddling parent?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, I would tolerate the in-law as much as possible even if my partner doesn't see their behaviour as a problem.
17% - 15 votes
No, but only if my partner supports me.
51% - 45 votes
Yes, my peace comes first and I know I'd be fighting a losing battle.
24% - 21 votes
Yes, even if my partner supports me, the stress is not worth it.
8% - 7 votes