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Tswhane street name battle continues

By Sapa | Jun 13, 2013 | COMMENTS [ 17 ]

The Tshwane municipality will have to spend over R2.6 million to re-erect old street names, the High Court in Pretoria heard.

Terry Motau SC, for the municipality, also argued that there was no proof that anyone had been harmed by the name changes,

The municipality has applied for leave to appeal against an interim court order, granted in April, interdicting it from removing old street names and ordering it to re-install old signs which have already been removed.

The order was granted pending the final outcome of civil rights group AfriForum's application to set aside Tshwane's March 2012 resolution to change the "offensive" names of 25 streets.

AfriForum is involved in a protracted legal battle with the municipality about replacing the name Pretoria with that of Tshwane.

Some of the city's oldest street names disappeared overnight when Tshwane's undertaking not to remove the old street names lapsed in October.

The city argued that the application should not have been heard as an urgent matter because AfriForum waited five months after the six-month period lapsed to launch the application.

Motau argued that the interdict intruded into the exclusive terrain of the city.

"To restrain the city from implementing its resolution would be to intrude into its domain, the "heartland" of its functions," he said.

He argued that AfriForum had "alarmingly and glaringly" failed to prove that it would suffer any harm at all, let alone irreparable harm.

"It's a matter of national importance. It's not just a simple interdict that was granted.

"AfriForum relied on a cultural right and fair and just administrative action.

"The court erred in finding there's a right that's being infringed.

"The mere changing of a street name cannot breach a right to culture.

"You can't engage a right in the abstract. You have to show how the process infringes a right.

"What is cultural about changing a street name from Vermeulen to Madiba?" Motau said.

He argued that the court had erred in ordering that the street names already removed be reinstalled, especially in circumstances where there was evidence that the reinstallation would cost the city about R2.6m.

"The proverbial horse has already bolted. You can't unscramble the egg.

"An interdict is forward-looking. It is unsuitable to remedy a past, non-continuing harm," Motau argued.

MP van der Merwe, for AfriForum, said an interim interdict was not appealable.

"What can ever be harmful to restoring those well-known, respected names that had been there for decades? At least no one will be lost," he said.

Van der Merwe said the city had only itself to blame if it had to spend over R2m to put the names back.

The city had started taking the names down while a review was pending and did exactly what the interdict was trying to prevent two days before its undertaking lapsed.

"We're not dealing with the city council of Pofadder and there's no suggestion that the city cannot afford R2m, even if it is a huge amount," he said.

Judge Bill Prinsloo will give a ruling on the application on Thursday.

COMMENTS [ 17 ]

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Wow, this Motau dude can really ramble on... Sorry dude, the courts have spoken.

Jun 13, 2013 7:25 | 0 replies

It will take time before ppl in Tshwane get used to the new street names. But wasting our tax money like this is not acceptable.

Jun 14, 2013 7:48 | 0 replies

Who's money is being waisted by these buggers in the City Of Tswhane? Please morons, respect the court's decision.

Jun 13, 2013 9:7 | 0 replies

This is all about giving a useless cadre a job.

I was really p1ss3d of when driving in Pretoria and finding ZAMBEZI DRIVE'S name replaced by SEFAKO MAKGATHO. Waste of money!!!!!

Now you tell me why this name needed changing, can't remember an evil Apartheid leader called ZAMBEZI DRIVE can you??

Jun 13, 2013 3:47 | 0 replies

i miss i Poyinti, sekwaba yikwa Ghandi manje?

Jun 13, 2013 2:49 | 0 replies

Eish! Why waste money on name changes? This money could be applied to build schools and hospitals. When will these people learn that you think with the upper portion of your body not the other end? We are so sick-and f@cken tired of hearing political and emmotional issues being blamed on the past - ag nee man! Look at the future and build this country into something the world can and will take notice off!

Jun 13, 2013 1:5 | 0 replies

I am from Durban, but I cannot direct people from town to my home anymore. The changing of street names does not help anybody, it does not rebuild the schools in the EC that were damaged by the storms, it does not improve conditions at the public hospitals, it does not mend the potholes, the list goes on. The people who are being honered with the new street names, died long ago, it does not help them and the families who survived them.

Bring back my Walker Street please.

Jun 13, 2013 12:32 | 0 replies

Don't waste your time talking politics while others are enjoying their lives with money without politics. See how this Zulu poor woman became a millionaire just by selling accidented cars. Visit the website (ACCIDENTED CARS.COM) put all words together , to see the methods she was using to do that. (ACCIDENTED CARS.COM), a very simple idea but a powerful one

Jun 13, 2013 11:27 | 0 replies

Whats up with changing names pila pila? I think is a waste of money than taking care of the people. I mean how much did they spend on taking the old one down and putting the new one up? Now they have to take it down with extra money! Kante people do not follow procedures before implementing things? Hey our brothers are failing us period. You cannot change history but you can learn from it so when IFP rule do we have to change the names again? Those street names at Pretoria di opisa tlhogo straight. Yes if you change 5 not the whole town. Tlosang dilo tseo Court e rialo. Hehehehehe Unscramble the egg rra, next time do things correctly.

Jun 13, 2013 9:18 | 0 replies

Hey Matso isn't it too early for your racist rant?

Being so aggressive, so early is surely going to spoil your whole day .............

Jun 13, 2013 9:12 | 0 replies

lol lol yaa ne people are so good in terms of mastering spelling straight.

Jun 13, 2013 8:52 | 0 replies