More Cape street names to change

The hated NY, or Native Yard, street names in Cape Town’s townships are to stay for the moment, while elsewhere nine names are set to change, down from a proposed 27.

This follows 19 000 comments from the public.

Out are Hendrik Verwoerd and Coen Steytler, in are Dullah Omar, Dulcie September and Abdullah Haron, among others.

A city ad hoc naming committee on Wednesday gave mayor Patricia de Lille a list of proposed changes to present to council for approval, said Brett Herron, committee chairman and mayco member for transport, roads and stormwater.

“The NYs are not on the current list. There are about 90. We will go to communities, area by area, in a separate public participation process,” Herron said.

Renaming Vanguard Drive in honour of Omar would be subject to De Lille consulting his widow Farieda Omar.

Herron said the proposals followed an appeal in May for the public to comment on 27 proposed naming changes – 24 streets, two civic centres and a footbridge. Eighteen remain unchanged.

“We have given this input from the public very serious consideration and have listened to the input received. As a result, in many instances, we have agreed to leave certain names unchanged. We received almost 19 000 comments. We are determined that the renaming process is one that leads to an inclusive Cape Town,” Herron said.

The committee proposed renaming Athlone Civic Centre Dulcie September Centre and Wittebome Centre Wynberg Civic Centre. The footbridge between Bonteheuwel and Langa would be the Bonte-Langa Footbridge.

On Women’s Day, August 9, De Lille will rename a square on St George’s Mall “Krotoa Place” in honour of a Khoi woman who worked in Jan van Riebeeck’s household. The decision was taken in December 2010.

PAC councillor and member of Herron’s committee Anwar Adams said: “It is a step in the right direction in an extremely sensitive issue (but) I would encourage naming as to renaming. If we simply do renaming for the sake of political correctness we open ourselves up to this very name being renamed in the next 30 years and so history of renaming will continue.

“The list of heroes is endless and should have more prominence and should not only be subjected to our townships and previously disadvantaged areas,” he said.

Freedom Front Plus councillor Andre Fourie said he was pleased the DA-controlled council had heeded the message from the public, but he was disappointed with the renaming of Coen Steytler to Walter Sisulu Avenue.

“Coen Steytler was never a politician. He was a civil servant who chaired a committee that was established to develop the Heerengracht. Why he should be punished only God knows. It is slap in the face of the Steytler family,” Fourie said.

“We as the ANC are encouraged to have pushed the DA to this point. In their first five years of rule in Cape Town they were quite comfortable with the old names,” said ANC leader Tony Ehrenreich.


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