Tshwane (Not Pretoria).
In a symbolic break with apartheid, officials in South Africa’s capital voted Monday to rename the city Tshwane, retaining the name Pretoria for the city center only.
The decision was taken at a special meeting of the governing African National Congress-dominated metropolitan council, the South African Press Association reported.
“By embarking on this process and project of transformation, our country is making a clear distinction between the old and the new, the past and the present,” Executive Mayor Smangaliso Mkhatshwa was quoted as saying during a four-hour debate.
The city of 2 million, established by white settlers in 1855, was named after Andries Pretorius, a leader in the Afrikaners’ “Great Trek” into the interior of the country. Tshwane, which means “we are the same,” was the name used by some of the region’s earliest African settlers.
The South African Geographic Names Council is expected to approve the change when it convenes in October and begin the process of changing the city’s name on maps.
Monday’s vote is the latest in a series of geographic name changes since South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994 ended decades of white-minority rule.
The government says South Africans should not have to live in cities, towns and streets named after the people responsible for their racial oppression.
Opposition councilors argued Monday that the process was a waste of money, and said the move to rename Pretoria threatens to split the capital along racial lines.
Why did Pretoria get the works? That’s nobody’s business but the South Africans.
(Apologies to They Might Be Giants and their incredible rendition)