Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pretoria's old street names stay for now

Pretoria - A bid for an interdict against the removal of street names in Pretoria is urgent, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Wednesday evening.

The application, brought by AfriForum, sought interim relief pending the finalisation of a review application process regarding the decision by the city council on 29 March 2012 to change the street names.

Before getting into the merits of the AfriForum application, Judge Bill Prinsloo ruled on the urgency of the matter.

"In my opinion, the applicant [AfriForum] acted properly and within the confines of the legislation relating to urgent [interdict] applications followed in this court.

"I'm also of the opinion that when the trigger came, in the form of the [Tshwane Mayor's] State of the City address and the resultant... removal of the old names, the applicant launched [the application for an interdict] without any hesitation," said Prinsloo.

Before 19:00, the judge gave a relief order, instructing the municipality to refrain from removing the old name signs pending the outcome of the review application process.

"I have come to the conclusion that a proper case has been made for the relief sought [by AfriForum].

"The respondent, by way of an interim interdict is restrained from removing the old names," he said.

The Tshwane metro council, represented by Terry Motau, SC, had proposed to the court that the application was not urgent and should be struck off the roll.

The council also said the application should have been brought earlier.

AfriForum lawyers sought the interdict preventing the council from removing the street name signs in the city, and ordering the metro to replace the ones they had already removed.

Several street name signs in the capital city have been bearing dual names but recently the old street names had been vanishing from the posts.

In his State of The City address earlier this month, Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the dual street name signs displayed on 27 streets in the city would now be removed, after the expiration o a set six-months' period.

"We have exceeded that [six months'] period. Now is the time that Lilian Ngoyi [Street] comes to life and Van der Walt [Street] goes to rest," said Ramokgopa.

- SAPA