Thousands say "no" to Makhado

Petitions against the name change of the town Louis Trichardt to Makhado were launched after the Minister of Arts and Culture had published the name change in the Government Gazette of October 14. A total of 6 462 signatories signed the petition in two weeks.

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14 November 2011

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Petitions against the name change of the town Louis Trichardt to Makhado were launched after the Minister of Arts and Culture had published the name change in the Government Gazette of October 14.

As a reason for changing the name to Makhado, Minister Paul Mashatile said: “A request had been received from the Makhado Municipality to change the name and all necessary processes had been followed in terms of the South African Geographical names Council.”

Those signing the petition confirmed that they had not been reasonably consulted in a bona fide manner  and that a proper and fair administrative process had not been followed. They also confirmed that changing the name of the town would affect the region adversely and that the money could be better spent for proper service delivery and the empowerment of poor people.

Petitions circulated for about two weeks and had to be handed in to the Chairpersons Association (CA) by November 4. The CA won the appeal court case when the name of the town was changed to Makhado the first time round and the name change had to be set aside.

A total of 6 462 signatories signed the petition. That is about 1 500 more signatures than the first time round.

“The Hlanganani Concerned group handed in 3 294 signatories, if I am not mistaken. We found the time restriction of two weeks difficult. If it were not for that, we could nearly have doubled that,” said the group’s spokesperson, Mr Jeffrey Gohell.

Mr André Naudé, chairperson of the CA, explained that 5 021 signatories are from the region and 1 441 from other regions.

“This is a matter in the interest of the nation, not only the region. Nowhere in the country should cultural groups be polarised nor cultural goods be destroyed,” Naudé said. He expressed the same sentiment as Gohell that the time restriction prevented them from getting many more signatures.

The time restriction was due to the fact that any objection to the name change had to be made within 30 days of the publication of the name in the Gazette. The CA wanted to add the petition lists to the objection.

“We are not happy about the whole name-change process. We say that the municipality has actually sent a wrong report to the minister, who believes them. We regard it as one-sided information from the side of the municipality that did not consult all the people. People are not against change, but change should not be brought about through ‘kangaroo consultation’ where people are hoodwinked that the government wants the name to be changed. A name change should come from the people themselves, and not the municipality forcing the people to change the name,” Gohell said.

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Please create a vacancies for umeployed as the name thing is not working. maybe this is a sign that this name thing is not going to work,how many times has it failed.Or rather use the money to develop the local area around Louis Trichardt e.g Kutama and Sinthumule need a serious development, water and street poles are needed.

ZA Vhutshilo Ramambila - 2011-11-14 07:18:26

This has become a battle over "whose ancestor's name is better," pitting Vhavenda against Afrikaners almost like 1994 never happened. The name "Louis Trichardt" was the brainchild of his grandson Colonel SPE Trichardt, who helped lead the war of 1898.  The name "Makhado" is a reminder of his own militant opposition to incorporation.  Both names are therefore polarising to someone and you will never get everyone to agree.

When Makhado was king, the northern part of the town today was the post of Tshirululuni where Ramabulana and initially Makhado also had their capitals.  That should be the name used, because it was a name known to the people and that the historical Louis Trichardt and Makhado themselves recognised.  If that does not work, the southern area had another Luvenda name that escapes me at the moment.  Problem solved.

But as Mr Ramambila rightly points out, this is king of a tempest in a teapot compared with the needs of other areas in the broader Ha Ramabulana.  I do not think sign-making will produce many jobs in Limpopo.

US Albion00 - 2011-11-16 23:59:31

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Linda van der Westhuizen

Linda van der Westhuizen has been with Zoutnet since 2001. She has a heart for God, people and their stories. Linda believes that every person is unique and has a special story to tell. It follows logically that human interest stories is her speciality. Linda finds working with people and their leaders in the economic, educational, spiritual and political arena very rewarding. “I have a special interest in what God is doing in our town, province and nation and what He wants us to become,” says Linda.

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