PHOTOS : @MYANC
By Thys Khiba
Johannesburg – The Gauteng African National Congress (ANC) led by the national deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte went to the streets on Monday, 26 April, calling for William Nicol Drive in Johannesburg to be renamed after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
“Many people living here are very comfortable, nothing has changed for them. But we are going to change this road, we are calling this road, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Road. Because we have to challenge the fact that we need to make sure that our economy is driven by black South Africans. It isn’t right that there’s still an economy that is still in the hands of a minority,” explains Duarte.
The gathering started at around 07h00 on Monday to petition Gauteng communities to support the changing of the name to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive by signing a pledge and an online petition. William Nicol Drive connects the north of Johannesburg with the central business district (CBD) and is used by tens of thousands of Johannesburg commuters daily.
The Democratic Alliance legislative member, Nico De Jager, indicated that their political organisation is not opposed to renaming William Nicol to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive, but the timing is an issue.
“All we are saying is that the right time to do that, especially with the cost implications on the economy with the change of a name when there is so much more that can be done with that money,” said DE Jager.
William Nicol Drive is named after the administrator of the Transvaal from 1948 to 1958. Nicol was one of the founding members of the Broederbond and its second chairman.
Meanwhile, William Nicol co-authored a book called Regverdige Rasse-Apartheid (Just Racial Apartheid) in 1947. It is also reported that the book tried to provide religious justification for apartheid.
William Nicol became the administrator of the Transvaal after the National Party’s 1948 election victory.