BCM approves name changes

Council gives green light for renaming of M’sane library, E Cape police HQ

The Buffalo City Metro council recently approved name changes for at least three places, including the provincial police headquarters and a library in Mdantsane.
In a report tabled before council last week, city manager Andile Sihlahla said the Buffalo City Geographical Name Change Committee had received applications from members of the community to change some of the names of buildings or facilities and also correct names that had been misspelt.
“The proposal is that the Victoria Grounds [in King William’s Town] be renamed after Victoria Mxenge, whilst the Mxenge police headquarters [in Zwelitsha] be renamed after Griffiths Mxenge.
“Both Victoria and Griffiths Mxenge were human rights lawyers and political activists who were executed by the apartheid government for their active participation in the struggle for national liberation.
“They hail from Kwa-Rhayi village, a small village outside King William’s Town,” wrote Sihlahla in the report.
He added that the other proposal was to change the name of the Mdantsane’s NU14 library to that of the late liberation struggle veteran Nokhanime Thomas.
“Nokhanime was a leader of the national [ANC] women’s league. She spent some time in prison after being arrested for being active in the liberation struggle. She was a community builder in the border region.”
Thomas’s grandson, Thandulwazi Thomas, who welcomed the developments, said his family felt proud that his grandmother would be honoured and be in the history books.
Thomas said: “As a family we were not formally informed about this decision, however we are not complaining because we understand that MamTshawe belonged to the community.”
“We were not shocked that they wanted to name the library after her. She made a lot of sacrifices as a liberation fighter and those sacrifices affected the family.”
“I think it’s quite fitting that a library will be named after her as she loved and valued education.”
In Sihlahla’s report, the names of Chalumna, Bisho and Mpintso were also proposed for changing as “they have been spelt incorrectly”. The proposal was to change the names to Tyolomnqa, Bhisho and Mphintsho.
While ANC and DA councillors supported the move to change the names of facilities and buildings, the councillors were quick to say the metro had no authority to change the names of places.
BCM chairperson for the geographical name change committee, councillor Mawethu Marata, said the recommendation to correct the spellings should be withdrawn as the power to correct the spellings rested with the provincial geographical name change committee and not the metro.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said they had set up a committee comprising of city officials and politicians and the department of sport, recreation, arts & culture, the provincial drivers of the geographical name change process.
“This is where the issues of the process plan, including duties and responsibilities, budget, public participation and timelines, are being discussed and the public will be engaged upon on the roll-outs at an appropriate time,” he said...

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