Pretoria name change ruling due

ASSURANCE: Arts and Culture  Minister Paul Mashatile
ASSURANCE: Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile

THERE should be finality by June on whether Tshwane will be gazetted as the new name for the city of Pretoria, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said

"I don't think it will take more than two months," Mashatile said on the sidelines of the national workshop on the standardisation of geographical names.

Mashatile said though the name Tshwane had been decided on, with the name Pretoria remaining as the name of a suburb, more consultation was needed.

"In my view it will do no harm to have one more consultation with people who have concerns," he said.

"South Africans must decide if the capital city is Pretoria or Tshwane."

The Freedom Front Plus, which is opposed to changing Pretoria's name to Tshwane, said in March it was in talks with the ANC over the renaming issue. FF+ is also opposed to the renaming of streets in the city.

Earlier Mashatile said people need not fear the transformative and inclusive exercise of renaming places in South Africa.

"We are not killing anybody, we are talking changing for the better," he said.

But people must become involved in the debates and processes of name changes, and be initiators for name changes in their areas.

"We must make sure we all agree on who we are, what we call ourselves.

"If you think KwaZulu-Natal's name is something you don't like, you obviously have to go to KwaZulu-Natal and participate in a process of renaming (the province). If it will happen, it won't come from Pretoria.

"But let's not be gripped by fear because names must mean something to people," Mashatile said.