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