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October 22nd, 2017 by

Last week, Cape Town mayor, Patricia De Lille announced that De Waal Drive will go by another name. The highway’s new name is Philp Kgosana Drive.

Many people are up in arms surrounding the name change, but the signage has gone up non-the-less. The unveiling ceremony took place on October 12, in honour of the late anti-apartheid struggle hero’s 81st birthday.

But was the name change really crucial at a time when Cape Town has more important things to worry about- such as critical water conditions?

We find out…

Read more about Cape Town’s taps running dry below

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Who Was Philp Kgosana? 

Kgosana was an anti-apartheid activist who led a march of over 30 000 protesters from Langa and Nyanga to Cape Town on March 30 1960. Kgosana was a Pan Africanist Congress stalwart who organised anti-pass protests. This particular protest followed the Sharpville Massacre on March 21 1960.

Kgosana passed away on April 19 2017 at the age of 80.

The 12km march which ended up in the city centre, went along the old De Waal Drive.

“I was honoured to have known and stood alongside Kgosana during the darkest days of apartheid and drew from his determination as we fought together to realise freedom, justice, and equality for the people of our country,” explained De Lille in a statement earlier this year.

So Why The Name Change? 

The original proposal for the name change came from former editor of the Cape Times, Tony Heard.

Heard approached the city with the proposal last year. “My proposal in changing of the name had nothing to do with politics but peaceful disciplined protest and courage. During my time as a journalist I had witnessed Kgosana leading a huge protest from Langa to the CBD that led to the closure of businesses and schools. He stood up to say enough is enough,” expressed Heard at the unveiling ceremony.

The citizens were asked to comment on the name change. The council also held a meeting to discussed the proposed name change.

According to Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Brett Herron, the decision was unanimous.

“Naming and renaming is part of building an inclusive city. This means things like road names and markers need to reflect the diversity of Capetonians,” explained Herron in a previous interview.

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How Will This Renaming Affect You? 

Besides for getting lost, there are many aspects that need to be altered after the renaming of a road in the city.

In 2012, Hendrik Verwoerd Drive in Bellville was renamed. 

Many of the business owners on that road were unhappy with the name change as they had to spend their own money to change the address on business cards and signage.

The city doesn’t provide financial assistance for companies who work on renamed roads. According to Labour Lawyer, Michael Bagraim, in a 2012 interview, the costs to change addresses is not too pricey.

“A lot of heat is being made about the name changes and how much it will cost, but this is all temporary.”

Is This A Priority? 

Although the name change might be in good spirits to transform the city and incorporate the names of influential figures from the past, however is now the right time?

Is it arguably ever the right time? Well, with Cape Town in Level 5 water restrictions with the recent implementation of water outages, surely there are more important things for the city to be worrying about?

Surely, every cent needs to be considered in order to provide finances for the desalination plants.

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  • Greg

    Next to be renamed must be the R102 (Van Riebeeck) . He arrived in 1652 with a bunch of rapists, murderers and thieves. Any road bearing the name of Cecil Rhodes must also be changed. He was a criminal.

    • Ashley Crookes

      Mandela was a terrorist…yet he is now revered in this country after being president and has countless things named after him. King Shaka murdered countless people (black and white) yet now the biggest airport in KZN is named after him. So, what exactly should we rename the other roads to since, you know, apparently van riebeeck arrived with all these low lifes?! I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t there at the time. Yet again we keeping renaming things, and eventually we have no history because “we” just want to burn it or rename it.

      I propose we don’t name ANY roads or buildings after ANY person – period. It’s so stupid and only causes problems. So tired of this crap, we just waste time and money on stupid things, when, you know there are actually people literally dying of starvation and disease out there. People have no water. Crime is completely out of control. Farm murders are literally killing the people who provide our food. I know, I know, renaming stuff is a priority…I’ll go suck on a lemon now.

    • Ash

      …yet Mandela who was a terrorist has his name plastered all over the country? King Shaka has an airport and other places named after him and he was a murderer of europeans coming to the country AND of his own people – yet I spose that was in the white history books so it must be incorrect. Yeah. How about we don’t name anything after any person, cause we all have something in our history which we are not proud of. Without history, we shall also never be able to learn from our mistakes. But carry on burning and looting and renaming if it makes people happy. I’m trying to move on and think ahead but clearly you are still stuck in the past trying to find things to complain about. The American are just the same. Still fighting the civil war which ended hundreds of years ago. How about we start focusing on the future and stop dwelling in the past? Life is just too short.

  • Greg

    White people do not seem get the message that racism is very real. It seems that they are not even aware what racism actually is. Racism did not go away when we voted in 1994. White people will never understand the pain and suffering those not fortunate enough to be considered white had to endure under successive apartheid governments. The legacy of pain and suffering is still present in the communities considered “sub human” by the racist governments before 1994. The people after whom some streets and towns were named under apartheid are in the same league as scum like the Nazis of the 1930’s. We cannot honour criminals like Van Riebeeck, Botha, Verwoerd, Vorster, Malan by having major roads named after them. Their names should be placed on gravel roads in informal settlements.

    • Ashley

      White people know exactly what racism is. And black people also know what it is too. Pull your head out of your ass and stop generalizing. If van Riebeeck never came along, then all the wonderful western, white created ideologies that came with it such as the nice cellphone or computer you are typing on right now would never have come to Africa and we would still be living in the dark ages (no Eskom pun intended!). As a white English speaking person, I was also treated like dirt by ‘some’, not all, some Afrikaans speaking white people, and was accused of “flying the union jack” just because I spoke English (I was born and raised in this country I AM AFRICAN, so is my father, so is my great grandfather and his father before him and his before him). I was called “soutie” and worse, and when going to an Afrikaans speaking residence to study, was treated (along with the other English guys) worse than the blacks that were there! It drives me absolutely stinking mad every time some fool comes along and says “White people are racist”. You don’t know me, you don’t know my family.

      Renaming roads is a load of crap. It costs millions of rands of OUR money, yes, yours and mine, and for businesses to change their addresses, and for maps to all be changed, and for road signs to be installed the list goes on. I’d rather my money is spent on the poor and uplifting the disgusting conditions which they still live in which the “black government” in charge is responsible for. So, is that not racism towards their own people???!!!

  • Just Me

    They waste money on crap like this when they need to be focused on important issues….