More consultation on Pretoria name change

Friday, April 13, 2012

Johannesburg - Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile says there should be one more consultation process on the Tshwane/Pretoria name change issue.

Addressing a two-day national conference on the standardisation of geographical names in Johannesburg on Thursday, Mashatile said this process should only take two months.

"I believe that we still need ... more [consultation] to give those few people who are still not satisfied about this process another chance to air their views and I think it should take us two months to do this.

"There is no harm in allowing consultation for those who are still unhappy," he said.

The City of Tshwane in 2007 commenced with the process of renaming 27 streets in order to bring in inclusivity in the names of the core capital streets and they are hoping to complete the process when the financial year for municipalities ends on 30 June.

Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, during his State of the City Address last month said they would seek audience with Mashatile to provide clarity the Pretoria name change.

Ramokgopa said the council had fulfilled all its legislative obligations on the matter and it was in the hands of the minister to give final determination.

The standardisation of geographical names in a democratic South Africa is part of the process of redressing the marginalisation of indigenous languages, culture, and heritage.

Names standardisation is part of the broad reconciliation and social cohesion process and is part of the reconciliation process, within the broader context of social transformation.

Mashatile also urged South Africans to refrain from vandalising road signs of streets whose names had been changed.

"We want to encourage South Africans to refrain from the activities of vandalising property and spray painting road signs to show their unhappiness about the name change processes. However, if such criminal activities happen, the law authorities should investigate and arrest those who are responsible for breaking the country's law," he said.