The City of Cape Town’s naming committee was to meet with Mayor Patricia de Lille on Wednesday to discuss the naming of seven bridges in the city in honour of local citizens who had made important contributions to the city’s history.
The Democratic Alliance Western Cape spokesperson for cultural affairs and sport, Ricardo Mackenzie, said the proposed name changes were for the bridges that cross over Nelson Mandela Boulevard off the N2 highway and for Rhodes Drive along the M3.
“The City remains consistent in its engagement with the public. In this particular process, those living in the metro were afforded an opportunity to submit suggested names to the public participation office,” said MacKenzie.
Adverts were run in the media and notices placed at the sites where the changes were to take place to encourage submissions.
“The responses were largely positive due to this being an authentic consultation process,” said MacKenzie.
After a vetting process in January 2015, the naming committee in the City approved seven names that were made available for public input from April 1 to 30.
The latest proposed name change comes after the controversy of Table Bay Boulevard being renamed FW de Klerk Boulevard, after the former president and Nobel peace prize recipient, despite opposition from various quarters that felt apartheid’s last president should not have been honoured in this manner.
“The DA in the Western Cape is committed to redressing the legacy of our past in a way that represents the will of the people through the correct channels,” said MacKenzie.
The proposed name changes are:
- Father John Oliver – An Anglican priest from District Six who died in 2013.
- Father Basil van Rensburg – A South African Catholic priest who gained international recognition for his fight against the apartheid regime’s forced removal of the people of District Six.
- Taliep Pietersen – The renowned singer, composer and director of a number of popular musicals.
- Tuan Guru – Imam Abdullah ibn Qadi Abdus Salaam, who is regarded as the Father of Islam in South Africa, was banished by the Dutch settlers to the Cape in 1780 and incarcerated on Robben Island for 12 years until 1792.
- Dawid Kruiper – A traditional healer and leader of the Khomani Bushmen in the Kalahari, he spoke of the rights of indigenous people to the United Nations in 1994 and led the way for successful land claims for the Bushmen in South Africa.
- a!kunta (Klaas Stoffel) – The first contributor to the Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd Archive of /xam and !kun texts. He arrived in Mowbray on August 29 1870 and stayed until October 1873.
- Ingrid Jonker – The South African poet who drowned at the age of 31 in Sea Point. Former president Nelson Mandela recited her poem Die Kind during the opening of South Africa’s first democratic parliament in 1994. – ANA