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Pretoria - Heritage Day has been marred by renewed efforts of the Tshwane Metro Council to change Pretoria’s name, according to AfriForum.
The organisation said the city’s plan for a second public participation process on October 12 on changing the city’s name to Tshwane was “cultural vandalism”.
According to Kallie Kriel, the chief executive of AfriForum, 81 percent of residents who took part in the first round, indicated the name Pretoria should be retained.
The proposed name change would destroy the heritage of a sector of the city’s residents, Kriel said, describing the council’s attitude as “disrespectful and insulting”.
Kriel called for the current solution, whereby the city is Pretoria, but it forms part of the Tshwane Metro as a recognition of the heritage of all communities and one that fosters mutual respect.
The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein granted the Tshwane Metro leave to appeal against a previous ruling on street names.
AfriForum had brought the challenge to bring back the old names of 25 streets alongside their new ones.
In his comment, Jacques du Preez, writing for the FW de Klerk Foundation, said the heritage of one group was no more important than that of another.
Referring specifically to Nelspruit / Mbombela and Pretoria/Tshwane, he said while change was necessary “so as to be more inclusive and accommodate the different cultures and heritage of all South Africans”, the way the process is effected ought to be “not only more inclusive, but also more culturally diplomatic.