Zuma: Pretoria name change is up to residents

Whether Pretoria gets renamed or not depends on what the residents of that metropole want, Deputy President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

Replying to questions in the National Assembly, he said Tshwane’s metro mayoral committee, under which Pretoria falls, had begun a public participation process on the matter.

The greater Pretoria area was named Tshwane in 2000, but the city itself has continued to be called Pretoria—after Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius.

“Tshwane has resolved to begin a public process to consult all people. If they [the residents] want the name to remain Pretoria, we will support that; if they want to change it, we will support that as well.”

He said the aim of renaming the city would be solely to unite the people of the area.

“In the past, people who lived in Mamelodi were not a part of Pretoria. We need to ensure that geographic names serve to unite us instead of dividing us.”

Asked if changing the name of Pretoria would affect investment and tourism to the area, Zuma said the branding of the city was not a problem.

“It is the capital city of the country.
If Pretoria was kept separate from Tshwane, it would look like what was perpetuated before.”

He said what was important was how the matter was handled.—Sapa

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