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Saturday, 17 November 2007


Jacques de Villiers

Clive, you may have intended your 'Street re-naming by Stealth' headline not to be taken up literally. But, whether you know it or not, you've hit the mark.
As I understand it, whenever a name change, a new building goes up and anything that can materially and mentally affect the public is proposed, a 'public participation' exercise has to be undertaken. Simply, the residents of the affected area should receive notice and an opportunity to lodge their comments and concerns. Typically, interested parties have six weeks to voice their opinions. These concerns are taken into account before anything goes ahead. I know this is how it works with industry. And, if industry doesn't toe the line in this regard, it is hammered. However, it seems that the government of the day has carte blanche to effect change without any consultation or consequence. (Of course, if you received a public participation document regarding the name change, then I stand corrected).

In my opinion, the government will eradicate all signs of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid - by any means possible (legally and illegally). That's the first step - thereafter, watch them put the screws on us who don't fit into its ideology.

Let's take the case of Pretoria changing to Tshwane. As I understand it, the name change was put on hold pending a court decision. In my mind this means that Pretoria can't be called Tshwane until it has been resolved. However, if you check out the ANC mouthpiece and previously the National Party mouthpiece, TV 3 News at 7, it will refer to Tshwane and not Pretoria. Is it allowed to do this when nothing has been resolved yet?

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