City Calls for Help in Renaming Facilities

Article excerpt

THE City of Cape Town has invited residents to suggest new names for local parks, halls and libraries as part of the renaming process.

Some 31 street names have already been changed and the city has also put out for comment 52 proposed changes to the offensive NY (Native Yard) street names.

The latest initiative concerns city facilities such as halls, libraries, sports complexes, buildings, open spaces, public squares, natural areas and parks.

Amendments to the existing naming policy, which have been released for public comment, outline the methods and criteria for making proposals.

Naming committee chairperson Brett Herron said the amendments would allow for proposals to change both street names and public facilities.

"The amendment will change the process, which has become quite cumbersome and quite difficult to work with. The naming of public facilities was always part of the policy, but the process has been mainly focused on streets," said Herron.

The city introduced its first naming policy in 2003, amended it in 2004 and 2005 and eventually adopted the existing policy.

Herron said that at the end of May, the city would start public participation for the NY changes in Gugulethu and a new public process to "encourage people to make comments on which public buildings to change".

In her SA Today newsletter, Premier Helen Zille waded into the naming debate, saying all parties acknowledged the need for place and street names to be inclusive and celebrate the history and heroes of all communities.

"The names of streets and places should aim to reconcile and unite, rather than divide. This requires compromises all round. …