Consult before renaming, please

Cape Town International Airport.
Cape Town International Airport.

Public participation is one of the pillars of our democracy since it's the government of the people by the people.

One of the things the government needs to get public opinion on before embarking on it, is the renaming of our streets, stadiums and even airports.

I'm saying this after arguments that arose at the suggestions of renaming Cape Town International Airport. We know where we come from as a country, politically, but why should all the renamings be about politicians?

I'm not undermining their contribution to our freedom, but it cannot always be about the Mandelas and Sisulus. We have musicians who fought the apartheid system through songs. We have academics that have contributed to this country through research and finding solutions to our social ills. Why can't we rename our streets with their names?

Why are stadiums renamed after political names and not sports personalities?

It cannot always be about politicians. We know the history of our country, and we are well aware that many people contributed to the situation we find ourselves in today. It is not politicians only.

Consulting the public before renaming is important as our leaders will get to know what we want. Yes, let renamings be done, but let it cover, honour and acknowledge various fields, not only politics.

Melato Mphahlele