Sowetan

Tshwane to rename streets

MAJOR HERITAGE CHANGES TO COME

- Sibongile Mashaba Additional reporting by Ernest Mabuza

THE city of Tshwane is set to launch a further project to rename Pretoria streets, change township signs and initiate heritage projects.

The move comes after the Constituti­onal Court ruled in favour of the city’s street-naming project which was subject to a legal challenge from Afrikaner interest group AfriForum.

Yesterday, mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa’s spokesman Blessing Manale said they would dispense with apartheid-era street names.

The city would immediatel­y remove the old names of 27 principal streets and main roads.

“… And in September, as part of Heritage Month, we will announce proposed new names for additional streets for public consultati­ons,” Manale said.

He said the city had spent R4million in popularisi­ng the new street names in 2013.

“[We spent an additional] R800 000 in new sign boards and we have not calculated legal fees. The new project is bigger than street names and includes township signage, heritage projects and the one capital city campaign [to cost] R15-million in 2016-2018.”

He said the practice of displaying the new names together with the old names for a period of more than a year should satisfy various stakeholde­rs who needed to update their business and marketing informatio­n.

“The City of Tshwane remains of the conviction that the new names reflect the rich and diverse cultural, natural resource, religious, ethnic and historical heritage of the city. And we call upon our youth, communitie­s and progressiv­e citizens to join us as we continue our campaigns in the rebuilding of a South Africa and a capital city which belong to all,” Ramokgopa said.

“We will continue to foster nation-building and social cohesion among our youth, and ensure that our developmen­tal initiative­s are aimed at bridging the racial divide in our city.”

In the new term they would resolve outstandin­g issues, such as the dispute over the use of the names Tshwane or Pretoria, and contentiou­s issues of heritage, such as the fate of statues of colonial and apartheid figures.

The court upheld an appeal by the city against an interim order granted by the North Gauteng High Court in 2013 which restrained the municipali­ty from removing street and road signs bearing the old names pending a review applicatio­n by AfriForum.

In 2013 Judge Bill Prinsloo ordered the city to restore signs bearing the old names.

The city unsuccessf­ully appealed this judgment before a full bench of the high court and the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The Constituti­onal Court set aside the judgment of Prinsloo‚ and said an interim interdict should not have been granted in the case.

The case has its genesis in September 2012 when the city council resolved to change the street names in Pretoria and to adopt new public participat­ion policy guidelines for the process of renaming streets. –

 ?? PHOTO: THEANA BREUGEM/GALLO IMAGES ?? NEW ORDER: Old street signs at the Mukhari Signs factory in Pretoria. Legal battles have been waged over whether old and new names could coexist
PHOTO: THEANA BREUGEM/GALLO IMAGES NEW ORDER: Old street signs at the Mukhari Signs factory in Pretoria. Legal battles have been waged over whether old and new names could coexist

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