Cape Town - The EFF is leading the charge to rid 41 Western Cape suburbs and towns - in particular popular tourist hotspots like Camps Bay, Hermanus, Stellenbosch and Plettenberg Bay - of their colonial names.
And it wants South Africa to change its name to Azania; for government to remove all colonial and imperialist statues, street and town names and offensive museum exhibitions and other physical remains of colonialism black people find offensive.
Demanding radical name changes in a bid to reject the country’s colonial past and reflect a new nation, EFF provincial leader, Bernard Joseph, said black South Africans were confronted daily by the same physical and spatial reminders and legacy of their oppressors.
And the EFF drew a list of more than 40 towns where urgent renaming was needed, because it contributed to the alienation of Africans from their motherland and allowed “whites to feel at home in their artificially created little Europe”.
Comparing the ongoing problem to that of a rape survivor having to interact with her attacker daily, Joseph said in the Western Cape people were constantly reminded of the abuse they encountered, having to live with the town and street names honouring their colonial oppressors.
Using as an example the Overberg town of Bredasdorp, which has been plagued by violent child murders and sexual violence, Joseph said these negative behavioural attitudes could be linked to the colonialist the town had been named after.
Rejecting apartheid monuments in public spaces, Joseph said new monuments that reflected a new era of ideology and independence had to be encouraged to forge a progressive nation.
The EFF also wanted these monuments to be of indigenous African heroes and those who fought for the dignity of Africa. In addition, the party suggested that the companies that benefited from the exploitation of blacks should foot the bill by paying taxes that would fund the africanisation of the country.
The EFF will spend the next three months lobbying support from rural towns and suburbs, with an array of public meetings to address the challenges.
Once they’ve garnered the required support and held consultative processes, the party plans to embark on a mass mobilisation drive and possible protest action to enforce change and bring the relevant authorities to commit to whatever was needed to achieve the change.
Other towns where the EFF wanted radical name changes included:
Albertinia, Athlone, Bellville, Bredasdorp, Caledon, Calitzdorp, Camps Bay, Clanwilliam, Darling, Durbanville, George, Gordon’s Bay, Hermanus, Hopefield, Ladismith, Laingsburg, Malmesbury, McGregor, Milnerton, Montagu, Moorreesburg, Murraysburg, Napier, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay, Porterville, Prince Albert, Prince Alfred Hamlet, Riebeek-Kasteel, Riebeek West, Riversdale, Robertson, Saldanha, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Swellendam, Tulbagh, Vanrhynsdorp, Wellington, Wolseley and Worcester.