you are currently viewing: Discussion Forum


The Rorke's Drift VC Discussion Forum
(View Discussion Rules)


PLEASE NOTE: This forum is now inactive and is provided for reference purposes only. The live forum is available at

(Back To Topic List)

DateOriginal Topic
14th March 2005place-name changes in SA
By Julian Whybra
I noted with horror that the ANC is about to change the place-names of South Africa for political reasons - Durban, Newcastle, Dundee, Pretoria, etc. My money's on their not changing Rorke's Drift for tourist income reasons. I can't see tourists rolling up in coaches to witness The Defence of KwaJimu as having the same ring about it. 'Ring' as in the sense of cash till.
14th March 2005Alan Critchley
I don't understand. Did these places originally have other names which were changed? I bet one will be renamed Mandelaville. Perhaps Mr. Mandela ought to get rid of 'Nelson' by the same reasoning.

14th March 2005Neil Raaff

What is equally disturbing is that certain monuments of "previous regimes" are also to be targeted. I know in my home town of Port Elizabeth there was a huge uproar when it was touted that the statue of Queen Victoria was to be removed. Perhaps now it will be remodelled and renamed as "Queen Winnie"?

Interestingly the name change is some places is in spelling only. An example would be "Tugela" being changed to "Thukhela" (I think I spelt it wrong!). I would imagine that quite a few of these places/rivers were named by the advancing settlers using the existing local native name for it. In the absence of a native alphabet I would say these would have been spelt as best possible phonetically. It does therefore strike me as very odd that a phonetic spelling of a name gets changed to another phonetic spelling of the same name!

Ours is not to reason why...


15th March 2005Michael Boyle
Wanting to change the names and actually accomplishing it could be two entirely different things. I wonder if the ANC has any idea how much it would cost and the logistical nightmare involved in re-naming such a large list of historically entrenched locales? The confusion alone could be crippling. Seems a bit much just to make the point they can do it if they want to.

Still, I suppose it would be considered no affair of our's were we to protest.

One would think they had more pressing issues.



15th March 2005Paul Cubbin
It seems a pointless exercise, and possibly offensive to some people, but I often wonder whether Africa in general, and Southern Africa in particular, is better or worse for its European influences.
Certainly, most nations were there for exploitation of some sort, whether it be political, strategic, economic, religious or moral; but then, that's what nations do. They try to improve their own lot at the expense of others, its called statecraft, and we've all benefitted from it. The fact that so many African countries appear to implode into anarchy or state sponsored crimes after the withdrawal of former imperial powers is obviously worrying. But does it happen due to inherent African tribal attitudes or the sudden power vacuum...or both? Would this continent be such a fragile place anyway or is it the hand of outsiders that has weaked it so? It seems that we in the developed world have shouldered a burden to support those poorer nations that we were once hounded out of. But is this simply a moral duty to repair a situation we helped to create? Apartheid is a word synonymous with oppression, but it was originally designed to deal with a multi-racial society in a way that kept their individual origins and traditions alive without losing a national identity. Of course, its application turned out a little different. Now that it is part of history, what impresses me is that the new system is not a black only rule, but rather an (apparently) successful blend that is starting to find its feet. Perhaps this is a lesson that Zimbabwe could learn.
16th March 2005Julian Whybra
No, these are not the previous names of places - these are to Africanize British 'colonial' and Dutch names which according to them have no place in SA. I refer you all to the Sunday Times 13th March page 31 - which states 57000 places are to name changed - Pretoria to Tshwane, Durban to eThekwini, George to Outeniqua, Newcastle and Dundee have not been decided upon yet, all care of the South African Geographical Names Council, set up by the ANC. Azania here we come.
16th March 2005Michael Boyle
It seems the descision is not without it's detractors :

Apparantly "Pretoria" will be retained as the name for the city center at least.They also seem to realize the cost ; one and a half billion Rand ,part of 57,000 changes are a great many street names as well !
17th March 2005Derek C
Name changes are but a small indication of changes that are sweeping the country. Gun laws have changed to the extent that people who have owned guns for decades (legally) must in essence, hand them in because meeting the criteria is just not worth it. Not wanting to be political, but I've maintained for years that S.A. will always follow a few steps behind Zimbabwe (Rhodesia). Next will be the farms, & Mbheki is certainly not overly critical of Mr. Mugabe's dictatorship.

For what it's worth, the Zulus' have always referred to Durban (my home town) as eThekwini and Jo'burg as iGholi, but Jo'burg lies in the Xhosa (ANC) regeion, hence Gauteng. S.A. also has 11 official languages!
18th March 2005Peter Quantrill
The situation in KwaZulu Natal is not as bad as reported. The sub committee's recommendations have been thrown out and they have been told to reconsider all name changes. The NMR Avenue possible change, to an unpronounceable struggle freedom fighter, for example, has met with much resistance.Currently, the strength of the Natal Mounted Rifles is 90% black and all wish to retain NMRAvenue.
The statues of Queen Victoria and General Louis Botha, both of which were to be removed, are now to stay. The ANC Premier, S'bu Ndebele has, to his credit, confirmed that the statue of the Queen located in Pietermaritzburg, will be flanked by King Cetshwayo. No doubt the Queen will be amused and Cetshwyo satisfied.
The statue of Louis Botha, situated in Berea Road, Durban, will be flanked by a statue of King Dinuzulu. Rightly so, as it was Louis Botha who sided with Dinuzulu in the battle of Etshani in 1884, securing victory over the Mandlakazi.Then when Botha became Prime Minister he secured the immediate release of Dinuzulu from prison where he was incarcereted prior to the Bambata Rebellion.
Now the two, side by side, may exchange winks as they look with amazement on the new South Africa.