Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Don’t botch Potch

One of the signatories to a compromise settlement which would end the legal battles over renaming Potchefstroom Tlokwe has reneged on the agreement just days after it was announced.

In a press release mayor Mapethle Mapethle and activist group Action Potchefstroom said the town would keep its original name, while the town council would be known as Tlokwe. Mapethle has since recanted, saying he did not know why his name was on the statement. He said Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan would make the final decision on the issue.

Council sources told the Mail & Guardian that ANC party tensions on the council had forced Mapethle to backtrack. Lucky Tsagae, the ANC councillor who had originally proposed that Potchefstroom’s name be changed, said he knew nothing about a compromise.

Other councillors contacted by the M&G were too nervous to talk about the name issue, even off the record.

Theo Venter, chairperson of Action Potchefstroom, also attributed Mapethle’s recantation to tensions within the local ANC, but said he thought the issue would be resolved. ”Even though we don’t have a final settlement on paper, the compromise is being seriously considered.”

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Yolandi Groenewald
Yolandi Groenewald
Yolandi Groenewald is a South African environmental reporter, particularly experienced in the investigative field. After 10 years at the Mail & Guardian, she signed on with City Press in 2011. Her investigative environmental features have been recognised with numerous national journalism awards. Her coverage revolves around climate change politics, land reform, polluting mines, and environmental health. The world’s journey to find a deal to address climate change has shaped her career to a great degree. Yolandi attended her first climate change conference in Montreal in 2005. In the last decade, she has been present at seven of the COP’s, including the all-important COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009. South Africa’s own addiction to coal in the midst of these talks has featured prominently in her reports.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

South Africa’s mothballed ‘supermall-ification’ sets strip malls up for success

Analysts agree that the country has enough malls and that, post-Covid, the convenience of local centres lure customers

Mabuza’s Russian jaunts and the slippery consequences of medical tourism

For more than five years the deputy president has remained steadfast in his right to travel abroad to receive medical treatment

More top stories

Deputy president Mabuza begs Tshwane voters: ‘Don’t abandon the ANC’

Angry Atteridgeville residents hurl insults at ‘dysfunctional’ ANC full of ‘corrupt individuals’ as Mabuza fails to placate them with party T-shirts and doeks

Taxi operators clash with cops over disputed Route B97 in...

Three suspects remain in custody following their arrest on charges of attempted murder and assault after eight taxis were impounded

SA teens, you’re next in the queue for a vaccine...

Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to register to receive their Covid-19 jab from 20 October. This group will be given only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, for now

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell dies aged 84

The 84-year-old died as a result of complications from Covid-19

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…