In a recent press release by the African National Congress office for the Regional Secretary, Sasabona Manganye, news emerged that William Nicol Road is set to undergo a renaming process and will soon be known as Winnie Mandela Drive. This decision is part of a broader effort to honour and celebrate the contributions of women in the struggle for freedom in South Africa.
Manganye highlighted the importance of recognising and commemorating the heroines of the liberation struggle, stating, “The renaming of William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive forms part of our efforts to cement and affirm women’s participation in our struggle. The celebration and heritage of our struggle, and the immortalisation of our heroines, is a key component in ensuring that we remember our history, and celebrate those who fought for our freedom.”
This renaming initiative explicitly pays tribute to Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela, often called the ‘Mother of the Nation.’ She remains an enduring symbol of resilience, bravery, and triumph in extreme adversity.
Manganye praised the City of Johannesburg for its commitment to this initiative, underlining that the announcement’s timing was significant. August is a month dedicated to celebrating the immense contributions of women to the liberation struggle.
It’s important to note that the renaming process followed the appropriate procedures, including seeking approval from Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s family.
However, only some are fully supportive of this renaming endeavour. Some local councillors have voiced concerns about the allocation of resources. Sandton Ward 90 councillor Martin Williams described it as a waste of money and resources, expressing the need for more substantial investments in road repairs within Johannesburg.
Similarly, Fourways Ward 106 councillor Chris Santana viewed the move as politically motivated rather than a practical allocation of funds. He suggested that the resources could be better utilised for critical assets like clinics, prioritising the community’s needs.
Picture: X/ SithaleKgaogelo
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