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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May, 2005, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK
Mixed response to Pretoria change
Residents' views on the switch

Black citizens of the South African capital have expressed enthusiasm about the approved name change for their city from Pretoria to Tshwane.

But their white counterparts tend to be opposed to the switch.

On Thursday, the Geographic Names Council recommended the change as part of moves to Africanise names.

On the streets of Pretoria, people who spoke to the BBC expressed attitudes that reflected their racial background.

'Back to our roots'

"Our kids will grow up in a new Pretoria whose name is Tshwane," said Motlasti Monene.

A woman holds up a sign during the rally
Opponents of the change say they feel marginalised

"It's an African name - it's going back to our roots."

Marius Botha argued that the change had not been properly thought through.

"It's something that someone dreamt up out of the blue. Why they think Pretoria has something to do with the apartheid regime I don't know."

'Trouble'

"If it changes there will be trouble - they are taking our citizenship away," warned Julius Breedt. "They are trying to make a black city and this cannot be."

But student Ndivhuwo Mulamu said whites need have no fear.

"There is no need for them to make trouble about this. We are all South Africans and it will be the same democracy - just the name will change."

Tshwane is the name of a pre-colonial local chief and means "we are the same". Pretoria was named after Boer settler and Afrikaner hero Andries Pretorius.

The city council approved the switch to Tshwane in March as part of moves to make place names more African.

Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan is expected to approve the decision.


SEE ALSO:
City names mark changing times
26 May 05 |  Africa
How South Africa has changed
13 Apr 04 |  Africa


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