Pretoria, Tshwane

New name for South Africa's capital Pretoria

Comments7 comments

South Africa's capital Pretoria will cease to be known by that name this year. Its new name will be Tshwane.

It's not the first city to change its name; over the centuries it's happened to hundreds of them. Sometimes the change was painless, sometimes violent.

These days a new moniker for a metropolis often entails a multimillion operation for government and businesses. Radio Netherlands Worldwide takes you on a journey around the world via a selection of cities that are no more.

The ANC-led government of South Africa has replaced a couple of "white" city names with "black" ones. Changing Pretoria is one of the most sensitive alterations. The country's capital was named after Boer leader Andreis Pretorius in 1855. Its new name, Tshwane (little ape) was the name of a Zulu leader who founded a tribal settlement in the area in the 18th century. The majority white population of Pretoria consider the name change to be a denial of their history. However, in order to placate them, the authorities have decided that the city centre will continue to be called Pretoria.


Marco Hochgemuth / Radio Netherlands World / Expatica


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3 Comments To This Article

  • Gary Thompson posted:

    on 25th June 2013, 00:00:05 - Reply

    My wife was born in Pretoria and it will always be Pretoria. The city was named 158 years ago and did not have another name previously. Everyone alive knows it as Pretoria. No one thinks of the name Pretoria as anything other than the name of a city. Only those in authority have nothing better to do than rename the city which will do nothing more than create mass confusion. Renaming our streets is the ultimate in creating confusion. Navigation systems, maps and any other means of navigating creates great potential for confusion. [Edited by moderator]. Financially it creates an unneeded cost that effects not only Pretoria, but around the world. History will always refer to Pretoria as such, you can't rewrite history.
  • Rachel posted:

    on 29th April 2012, 18:31:01 - Reply

    I dare you to go to Pretoria and yell that out in the city center. You won't bacause... Just because a bunch ... like you (thankfully quite a minority) want Apartheid back doesn't mean it will happen. South Africa at least now has a chance for a future with all its peoples by trying to find compromises wherever possible. ... Germany is still changing names of streets and such almost 80 years after the fall of Hitler. And you still protest it. [Edited by moderator]
  • Andy posted:

    on 18th January 2012, 11:54:39 - Reply will always be Pretoria .. just because a bunch of monkeys want to change the name dose not make it so !!! and bring back apartheat while your at it before they totaly f**k the place into the ground like Zimbabwe?? down with the ANC [Edited by moderator]