Zuma: More talks on Pta name change

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cape Town - Further talks with the parties involved will need to take place before a decision can be made on the change of the capital city's name to Tshwane, says President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma was responding to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and leader of the Freedom Front Plus, Dr Pieter Mulder's speech during the Parliamentary debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in which he raised the issue of geographic name changes and specifically Pretoria.

The change of Pretoria to Tshwane has been a longstanding and thorny issue.

Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana retracted the registration of the Tshwane municipal council name as a geographical feature earlier this month due to technical issues. Ministry officials have since been instructed to carry out more work on the matter.

Describing the issue of what names one should use to describe the towns, cities, streets and geographical features of the country as "difficult", Zuma said he had met with Dr Mulder to discuss the matter.

"I had a constructive discussion in Pretoria about this problem and dealt with the issue. I agree with him that further talks with all the parties involved will have to take place and that a solution and working method which will be acceptable to all parties will have to be found," said Zuma, in his response to the SONA debate.

He pointed out that government had earlier decided not to rush with the renaming of Pretoria as it is the capital city of the country. "We need to move along together on this path to ensure that we all appreciate the significance of the process," he said.