Persoonlike Opinie: Ek dink regtig die twane raad doen dit aspris om die mense van daardie gebied, regtig kwaad te proebeer maak, sodat die wit mense regtig iets onnosels aanvang. Wat kan dit anders wees? Is dit nie ook 'n manier om die mense op te sweep nie? Skerkte julle almal wat daardeur moet gaan.
Residents fume over road signs
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Name change hearings slammed
Pretoria irks Tshwane lineage
Pretoria - Will Kroonstad's name now be changed to Crown City?
This is what an upset Theuns Erasmus, chair of Die Wilgers Residents' Association, wants to know, after the Tshwane metro council recently replaced the name of the suburb Die Wilgers on a few of the road signs in Pretoria with "Willows".
"I think that's out of order. Completely out of order. In such cases, residents should be involved. Residents should be consulted when they want to change the name of an area," Erasmus told Beeld on Monday.
"It's illegal, since a place called Willows doesn't exist in Pretoria, in any Tshwane roadmap book or GPS map. The place's name is Die Wilgers and nothing else," said Erasmus.
No request for name change
According to him, the Geographical Place Names Council didn't even receive a request to change the name.
He was shocked when, one morning in early March he saw the changed name on several road signs along Rossouw Street on the N4.
"As things stand now, it's causing huge confusion for people looking for a street address in Die Wilgers, while the street signs refer to Willows," said Erasmus in a letter to the metro council.
There is no reason, according to him, to change the name.
"So it's a pointless expense amid the very well known lack of funds in the municipality," the letter states.
Bad city management
The municipality seems "insensitive, incompetent and wilful" toward a suburb of which the residents are regular taxpayers.
"We make an effort to keep the pavements clean and to protect the neighbourhood by opposing unwelcome rezoning and keeping crime to a minimum with our own street patrols, armed reaction units and good relationships with the police."
However, Erasmus feels that, the worse the management of a city becomes, the more the management are motivated to change the names of places and streets.
"They can't give voters clean water or roads without potholes, so they simply change names."
Duncan Baker, DA council member for ward 46, said the town council was simply being obstinate by making this change.
Part of one's identity
"Why were the old boards taken down? They were in a good condition. They didn't even have any paint marks on them. To me it just seems like a waste of money."
Language is part of one's identity and "Afrikaans speakers are also part of our country's history".
"Language is a part of history and you can't simply try to erase that history," said Baker.
The association is demanding that no further changes be made to boards showing the correct name.
Boards with the word Willows must be removed within a reasonable amount of time.
The Tshwane metro council has yet to respond to Beeld's request for comments.
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