The imminent renaming of the City of Tshwane’s Region 7 offices, Muniforum, to iKosi Mkhambi I has been praised as a way of strengthening the community’s heritage and promoting the character of the area.
This is according to a recently approved council report seeking approval for the public participation process for the application to rename Muniforum Building located in Bronkhorstspruit.
Among the areas serviced by the office are Ekangala, Ekandustria, Zithobeni and Sokhulumi.
The report was presented to council after the local community rejected the name of a political fighter known as Ephraim Mogale initially proposed for renaming the municipal building.
The council report from the Economic Development and Spatial Planning Department indicated that the origin of the name Muniforum could not be established despite extensive research.
“However, there is a possibility that it is a combination of ‘muni’, which is an abbreviation for ‘municipal’ and ‘forum’, hence ‘Muniforum’,” the report said.
The name of Ephraim Mogale was rejected during a community meeting wherein people proposed a different name. There was no motivation submitted to back up the proposed name of Ephraim Mogale, but research revealed he was a freedom fighter, a combatant of life and a patriot.
“According to the motivation from the applicant, iKosi Mkhambi I is the ancestor of the amaNdebele kaNunza who resided in the area for many years. He was a unifier of all races who avoided conflicts. The application is intended to honour the amaNdebele kaNzunza. The amaNdebele kaNzunza can be found in Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo,” said the report.
The motivation, however, didn’t provide the background on the leadership except to indicate that iKosi is a Ndebele term for king, hence he was from the royal family.
“iKosi Mkhambi II of the amaNdebele kaNzunza is based at the Sokhulumi Traditional Authority. In this case, renaming the building is intended to enhance reconciliation of the community, assist with building the community and redefine the society,” said the report.
It further noted that the current name was not offensive, but with the proposed renaming, “the intention is to honour or commemorate iKosi Mkhambi I, who used to be the traditional leader or chief of the amaNdebele kaNzunza”.
“The name can strengthen the community’s heritage and promote the character of the area. The amaNdebele kaNzunza still exist and reside in the area,”said the report.
The Office of the Speaker is expected to initiate the process of the public participation by delivering the project letter and map to the ward councillor, the regional coordinator, ward administration and community mobilisation division.
“The Office of the Speaker facilitates the public participation process within 30 days of notification of the project. The Office of the Speaker and the ward councillors are jointly responsible for the public participation process,” said the report.