ANC members picket over William Nicol Drive name change
DURBAN: ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte led a delegation of men and women along William Nicol Drive in Gauteng today, calling for the popular road's name to be changed to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive.
Joined by the ANC Women's League, ANC National Youth Task Team and the ANC Women's League Young Women's Desk, Duarte signed a pledge showing support for the name change. Duarte also launched an online petition.
Mayor Geoff Makhubo recently announced that the City of Joburg had started a public consultative drive to have William Nicol Drive in the north of Joburg renamed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive.
Legally, public comments and input must be considered before the name change is implemented.
Last month, the City of Johannesburg announced that it was considering renaming William Nicol Drive, in line with its approved policy on the naming of streets and other public places within the city of Johannesburg.
The City is considering re-naming William Nicol Drive to Winnie Madikizela Mandela Drive.— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) March 24, 2021
You're invited to comment on the renaming. Please use contacts on the poster to engage on this process #JoburgUpdates ^NS pic.twitter.com/QockRmaIXS
The DA has started a petition, opposing the name change. The petition has just over 4250 signatures . The target is 20 000 signatures.
The party has given five reasons why the name should not be changed:
- William Nicol Drive is the responsibility of the province and the City therefore has no jurisdiction over it.
- Renaming should be avoided when there are significant costs – not only to the City, but also to businesses and other stakeholders.
- Insufficient public consultation with affected stakeholders, no notice to councillors in the affected wards and a lack of public notices.
- There are roads and schools named after Winnie Mandela and the policy says that there should be no duplication of names within the City.
- A renaming proposal will be considered only when the long-term benefits to the community can be shown to outweigh any short-term effects or private interests, that is political games during an election year.