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End of apartheid street names as renaming of ‘NY’ Streets in Gugulethu gets the nod of approval

November 13, 2013

The City of Cape Town last week approved the renaming of the ‘NY’ streets in Gugulethu, bringing this year-long process a step closer to becoming a reality.

The renaming of specific streets throughout the city is part of this administration’s commitment to reconciliation and redress and building a truly inclusive city for all the people who call Cape Town home.

A comprehensive and extensive public consultation process started in September last year, with much support and participation by the community at large. 

‘The streets of Gugulethu are currently named with the Apartheid era “NY” prefix. There is some debate about the origin and meaning of “NY”, in particular if it does in fact stand for Native Yard as was commonly thought. Regardless of what “NY” stands for, the community of Gugulethu will now have names for their streets and public places that resonate with historical figures who have impacted on the community,’ said City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town and Chairperson of the Naming Committee, Councillor Brett Herron.

More than 5 000 suggestions were received during two rounds of public consultation indicating that the final list will resonate with the community. The list of names includes historical figures, motivational names and even names of fauna and flora.

It was further recommended that NY111 be renamed Gugulethu Seven Street. The Gugulethu Seven was group of young men who fought for the democratic dispensation we now all enjoy, and who were shot and killed by the police in 1986. A monument was erected in Gugulethu to honour their lives, and is located outside the Gugulethu Police Station on the corner of NY1 and NY111, close to the area where the Gugulethu Seven were killed.

A total of 90 street names will change, as suggested during the public consultation process, including:

– NY3 will be renamed Qabazi Drive. Reverend Qabazi was a well-known religious figure who served as the resident priest of the Anglican Parish, which is located at the corner of NY3 that became known as kwaQabazi.

– NY18 will be renamed Songeze Street. This street is home to the first primary school in Gugulethu.

– NY23 will be renamed Masonwabe Street. Masonwabe means ‘let us be happy’.

– NY29 will be renamed Sophumelela Street. Sophumelela means ‘we want to succeed in life’. 

– NY49 will be renamed Indwe Street, after the blue crane (South Africa’s national bird) which is also resident in the Western Cape.

‘We are pleased that this is the final step in the approval process to rename the streets in Gugulethu. The next step will be the implementation of the new and dignified street names for the residents of Gugulethu, to give them a sense of pride, dignity and belonging,’

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