The renaming of William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive has been lauded by the African National Congress (ANC) as a powerful symbol of South Africa’s heritage and history.
The City of Johannesburg, on Tuesday, unveiled the name change, the same day as what would have been stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s eighty-seventh birthday.
The ANC has stressed the importance of acknowledging the significant contributions made by this towering anti-Apartheid activist and leader towards the struggle for democracy in South Africa.
“The ANC’s position to rename key streets and buildings in South Africa to honour icons who played pivotal roles in shaping the country’s history reflects a broader effort to unite society behind tried and tested icons who tirelessly contributed to the nation’s struggle for freedom and democracy. By renaming streets and buildings after these icons, the ANC aims to ensure that their legacies are preserved and that future generations are reminded of the sacrifices and achievements of those who fought against Apartheid and other injustices,” said ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri.
The party commended Madikizela-Mandela’s “determination and commitment” in the fight for equality and prosperity amidst persecution, imprisonment and hardship. The ANC said Madikizela-Mandela’s life and legacy continue to inspire many as a symbol of resistance and resilience.
“The preservation of our history serves as a powerful symbol of South Africa’s commitment to acknowledging its oppressive history and valuing the diverse voices and leaders that shaped it. It also reinforces the idea that the past should not be forgotten, but rather be integrated into the nation’s identity as a source of inspiration and a reminder of the importance of justice, equality, unity and social cohesion,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.