Sun. May 19th, 2019

Winnie Mandela: Four places that could be renamed after her this year

Winnie Mandela Winnie Madikizela-Mandela renamedOne of the greatest freedom fighters of our existence passed away a year ago today, and plans to fully honour Winnie Mandela’s legacy are in the pipeline.

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A year on from Winnie Mandela’s death, the tributes have been pouring in for one of the most iconic struggle heroes in South Africa’s history. Ma’ Winnie passed away on 2 April 2018, leading to an outpouring of grief.

She received a state funeral and the ANC publicly paid tribute to a woman who fought side-by-side with her late husband Nelson to overturn the evil apartheid regime. However, the EFF also held their own public memorial, with Julius Malema claiming that she was “one of their own” – he was on Twitter this morning to pay his respects:

But do the platitudes and pleasantries go far enough? There is now a concerted effort to have more national landmarks named after Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, in order to cement her legacy in our society.

There are some high-profile campaigns and a few that have slipped under the radar since her death. Here are all the plans already in the pipeline:

What could be named after Winnie Mandela in 2019?

Cape Town International Airport

This one is gaining traction with each passing day. It’s a proposal that has been championed by the EFF, who recently failed in a bid to get Parliament to enforce the proposed name-change.

The party demand that “Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport” is made the permanent name of the facility. The renaming process is still at the deliberation phase, with any changes expected to cost upwards of R20m.

William Nicol Drive

The road, which runs to the north of Johannesburg and connects a multitude of suburbs across the municipality, was originally named after the South African reverend who helped translate the Bible into Zulu. However, it seems like Ma Winnie’s legacy will see his name removed from the R511.

In October 2018, Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi confirmed the city has recommended renaming William Nicol Drive after the late struggle icon. Much like the airport, talks are still ongoing over what to do next.

More city buildings in Johannesburg set for Winnie Mandela makeover

Vasco Da Gama is the speaker for the Johannesburg City Council. He said in an interview last year that “many more public buildings” will get a name change, in honour of Winnie. He stopped short of listing specific structures, but vowed that “more was to come” after she was posthumously awarded the freedom of Jozi:

“Community development will go through a public participation process and the public will put forward their suggestions on what should carry whose name. The conferment of Freedom of the City Award to Madikizela-Mandela is just the beginning.”

The Council Chambers of Johannesburg

A chamber of Braamfontein has already taken the plunge, and Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba wants the city to name its council house after Winnie Mandela.

Speaking in September 2018, Mashaba reasoned that “her sacrifices have been reduced to nothing but a footnote in some parts” and that this would be an ideal way to remember WMM.

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