Ekurhuleni renaming plan to honour Winnie Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and others
Africa's largest interchange, Gillooly's, could soon bear the name of anti-apartheid activist lawyer George Bizos, while Winnie Madikizela-Mandela could lend her name to Olifantsfontein Road.
These are among the proposed name changes to be made to as many as 50 roads, streets, interchanges and landmarks in the Ekurhuleni municipality.
According to a statement issued by the city on Wednesday, the council resolved to start the process of "renaming 42 street names and eight landmarks after political icons and other eminent individuals from the region".
Among the prominent streets cited for renaming, the city recommend that:
- Gillooly's Interchange be renamed after anti-apartheid human rights lawyer and Rivonia triallist, advocate George Bizos;
- Olifantsfontein Road be renamed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Road, after the anti-apartheid icon and politician affectionately known as the "mother of the nation"; and
- Van Buuren off-ramp be renamed after former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
Other proposed street name changes include Snake Road (to be renamed in honour of Mary Moodley), Edenvale Road (Lungile Mtshali), Ego Road (Magaret Gazo) and Kliprivier Road (Sam Ntuli).
The city said it owns 35 of the 42 roads identified for renaming; the rest are owned by either national or provincial government. Negotiations with the relevant government spheres will now take place.
It's not only roads that will get new names. The Springs Theatre will be renamed after actor Ken Gampu, while the new Germiston Theatre will be known as the Dumisani Masilela Theatre.
“We must build a city whose landmarks, highways, streets and intersections bear a resemblance of all the people who make up its population,” said Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina.
"The collective identity and moral image of the city must be drawn from within the histories of the whole population. The children of our city must grow up in an environment that bears names that are familiar to their home languages and of people they interface with in their everyday lives."