Posted on March 8, 2005

Only CBD Is Pretoria — Council

News24 (South Africa), Mar. 7

Pretoria — Tshwane City Council voted on Monday to retain the name, Pretoria, for the city centre only, while Tshwane will refer to the greater metropolitan area.

The council authorised the municipal manager to affect all the necessary legal and administrative procedures to register the geographical area that constitutes the municipality as a city called Tshwane.

In his closing speech at the council meeting, Tshwane mayor Smangaliso Mkhatshwa said he hoped for a future where his grandchildren’s children were far removed from “the poison of apartheid” and in which issues such as name changes would have ceased to be of consequence.

Referring to the report to investigate the name change commissioned by Mkhatshwa as “flawed”, Democratic Alliance Tshwane caucus chief whip Natasha Michael questioned why the opinions of international representatives of embassies were not asked for in the report.

An ‘economic nightmare’

“Imagine the costs to the local businesses that have to change all references of Pretoria to Tshwane . . . it is nothing more than an economic nightmare,” Michael said.

“Tshwane, the substitute name, has less substantiation behind it than the mythical island of Atlantis. Any other name could have been chosen,” DA councillor Derek Fleming told the council.

The name-change proposal was welcomed by the Pan-African Congress.

PAC councillor Phillip Kgosana said: “The PAC’s position is that any institution, any images, monuments, relics, effigies or structures which represent or portray the colonial or apartheid past should be swiftly and mercilessly removed without ceremony.”