- The City of Johannesburg announced on Tuesday that it would rename William Nicol Drive to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive
- Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi confirmed that a resolution to change the name of one of Johannesburg’s busiest and most congested roads had been approved by the council
- Reaction to the name change has been split with some welcoming the move and others saying it was a disservice to Winnie’s legacy
The City of Johannesburg announced on Tuesday that it had approved a resolution to rename William Nicol Drive to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive. Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi confirmed that the council had approved the plan.
William Nicol Drive is one of the busiest and most congested roads in Johannesburg and plays a vital role in connecting suburbs in the north of the city with other parts of the city. Vadi said the name change was not aimed at erasing the past but rather about promoting greater historic diversity.
Vadi said the council had also approved the renaming of the R82 to honour the late Duma Nokwe who played a vital role in the liberation struggle.
Briefly.co.za gathered that South Africans took to social media to deliberate on whether renaming William Nicol Drive in honour of the late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was, in fact, an honour.
TimesLive.co.za reported that nearly all those taking part in the robust debate agreed that Winnie should be honoured and remembered with some grand gesture, but some questioned whether naming a road which most people tried to avoid after her was such a grand plan.
Many South Africans still seem in favour of renaming Cape Town International Airport after Winnie although most people in Cape Town and the Western Cape said they would rather have the facility renamed in honour of someone with closer ties to either the city or the province.
Other social media users simply felt changing a road name was pointless and the money for such a project could be better spent by using it to build additional roads to help ease congestion on the busy road.
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