Threat of court action over Potch name change

Any attempt by the South African National Geographical Names Council to consider the name-change request to change Potchefstroom to Tlokwe will result in court action, Action Potchefstroom said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson for the civic organisation Theo Venter said the request for the name change was so fundamentally flawed that it was impossible to table the merits of the request.

“It cannot be tabled and should be referred back to the local council.”

He was reacting to an acknowledgment by the Department of Arts and Culture that a letter from Action Potchefstroom was received and that “the submission” would be tabled together with the request to change the name to Tlokwe.

Venter said the letter pointed out that the request to change the name of Potchefstroom was fatally and irreparably flawed.

“Should the [council], however, decide to consider the request, Action Potchefstroom would have no other choice but to seek relief in the relevant courts in the country,” said Venter in a statement.

He said their letter consisted of an executive summary setting out the facts why the municipality’s application was “fundamentally and irreparably” flawed.

The letter said that the city “completely failed to follow any consultative process” as required by guidelines and included the Supreme Court of Appeal’s judgement in the recent Louis Trichardt case and other legislation.

Venter said they highlighted the fact that the council’s provincial committee rubber-stamped the flawed process while ignoring its own procedures and guidelines.

“Both the city council and the provincial committee infringed the administrative and constitutional rights of the residents of Potchefstroom through their actions,” said Venter.—Sapa

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