Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo says the city’s council has formally agreed to rename William Nicol Drive after struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Speaking to eNCA, Makhubo said that the renaming process is not driven by the ruling ANC, but rather a city council decision.
He added that while the renaming had some public detractors, the council’s decision was unanimous which meant that ‘most of society’ is behind the move and that the renaming will go ahead.
William Nicol Drive was named after the Dutch-Reformed minister and Transvaal administrator at the time of its construction.
Madikizela-Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and politician, and the second wife of president Nelson Mandela.
In February, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa announced a number of name changes in the Eastern Cape which he indicated were for transformation purposes.
The minister said that the transformation of the naming landscape in South Africa is ‘a critical component of the heritage landscape as a whole’.
“There was a need for the name changes as this is part of a government programme to transform South Africa’s heritage landscape. The names of places we live in reflect the identity and cultural heritage of the people of South Africa,” he said.
Mthetwa said that prior to the changes, the Provincial Geographical Names Committee conducted public consultations on all the names that were changed.
“The South African Geographical Names Act provides for objections within 30 days from members of the public in instances that they are not happy with the gazette name changes,” he said.
Read: Discovery and Dialdirect to help with Joburg pothole backlog