How much is too much? That’s the question the DA has asked of the City of Johannesburg this week, after launching a petition AGAINST the proposed renaming of William Nicol Drive. Local ANC forces want the major commuter route to reflect the achievements of Winnie Mandela instead – but the project is facing some significant opposition.

What is named after Winnie Mandela in Johannesburg?

One of the most common complaints running through the DA’s petition is that city officials have already cut several vital corners, excluding the relevant stakeholders from having their say. Processes on public consultation and the establishment of renaming committees were allegedly flouted, but one issue stands out above the rest.

So many places in Johannesburg have already been dedicated to WMM. A quick scan of Google Maps shows just how problematic finding the right region can be, when a plethora of venues and locations show up left, right and centre:

  • – At least four schools in the Greater Johannesburg region have been named after Winnie Mandela.
  • – In Tembisa, there is a taxi rank, a library, and another busy road that bears Ma’ Winnie’s name.
  • – Several settlements – including one near Mpho – are called ‘Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’.
  • – Just off the R562 is Winnie Mandela Park.
  • – A number of health services, including community clinics, are also named after the late struggle icon.

Renaming William Nicol Drive ‘breaks the rules’ – DA petition

Let’s say you are leaving Bryanston via William Nicol Drive, to drop your child off at a certain school in Tembisa, and then you wanted to walk at a nearby recreational ground. If the latest name change goes ahead, one would have to get onto Winnie Mandela Drive, to get to Winnie Mandela School, before going to Winnie Mandela Park.

Obviously, that’s an obscure scenario – but as far as the DA is concerned, it’s one that needs to be avoided…

“There must not be a duplication of names. Four schools, a clinic, a taxi rank, and several streets are named after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Johannesburg. The use of people’s names should be a rare occasion and should a special petition be made with a motivation and a profile, and the city does not have the competence to rename William Nicol Drive.”


Presh JM Reporter

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