A street sign for Pretorius Street in Pretoria. Gallo images
Millions of people and places will be affected by the upcoming street name change in the capital city of South Africa, Tshwane, situated in the heart of Gauteng.
The heritage of South Africa is most vividly seen in Tshwane where people of all races from all provinces live together for work reasons.
Tshwane metropolitan is the biggest in Africa and the third biggest in the world, after New York and Tokyo.
It was decided in September 2007 that 27 street names would be changed. The proposed names include the area from Nelson Mandela to Church Square, which will become Helen Joseph. On the list is the area from Nelson Mandela to the east, which will become Stanza Bopape. The area from Church Square to R511 will become WF Nkomo, and the stretch from the R511 to the west will be Elias Motswaledi. Church Street will become Oliver Tambo.
The street names change in Tshwane honours stalwarts of South Africa’s liberation struggle across the colour, political and religious divide.
Among those proposed names are foreign names of those who played a role in South Africa. Names such as Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah and Samora Machel are on the list.
However, Pretorius and Paul Kruger Streets will remain.
In 2008, members of the public were given the opportunity to voice their opinions. One said: “Leah Mangope was the first black woman to drive a tractor and she uplifted communities.”
Another asked: “Why is Queen Wilhelmina among the streets that will be changed when she supported ANC financially?”
The name change process proved to be emotional, and principles were proposed to guide the naming process:
1. Preference shall be given to those heroes and heroines of Tshwane who might not get naming prominence in other parts.
2. Gender sensitivity.
3. Different generations of struggle to be presented.
4. To ensure fair representation of all the racial groups.
Pretorius - Will not change
Schoeman - Francis Baard
Van der Walt - Lilian Ngoyi
Andries - Thabo Sehume
D F Malan - E’skia Mphahlele
Prinsloo - Sisulu
Genl Louis Botha - January Masilela
Skinner - Nana Sita
Church - from Nelson Mandela to the east – Stanza Bopape
Leah Mangope - Peter Magano
Lucas Mangope - Molefe Makinta
Jacob Mare - Jeff Masemola
Walker Charles - Justice Mohammed
Queen Wilhelmina Ave - Florence Ribeiro
Mears/Beatrix/ Voortrekker - Steve Biko
Hendrick Verwoerd - Johan Heyns
Hans Strijdom - Solomon Mahlangu
Mitchell - Charlotte Maxeke
Esselen - Robert Sobukwe
Vermeulen - Madiba
Schubart - Sophie De Bruyn
Potgieter - Kgosi Mampuru
Paul Kruger - Will not change
Proes - Johannes Ramokhoase
Michael Brink - Nico Smith
Duncan - Jan Shoba
Zambezi - Sefako Makgatho