02 November 2018 - NW3051
Lekota, Mr M to ask the Minister of Arts and Culture
(a). What rationale informed the decision of the Government to rename the Medfontein building in Bloemfontein after Leabua Jonathan, (b) what are the details of the public consultation process that was undertaken in order to arrive at the decision and (c) was there no other person from the Free State who could have been honoured instead?
(a).The decision to rename Medfontein Building to Leabua Jonathan was taken by the Mangaung Municipality, and the Minister of Arts and Culture did not play any role,
(b). The South African Geographical Names Council Act, (Act No. 118 of 1998), state that, the Minister of Arts and Culture is responsible for the approval of geographical names after receiving recommendations from the South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC).
The SAGNC is responsible for geographical features of national concern including, but not limited to towns/cities, suburbs and any form of human settlement, post offices, stations, highways and government dams.
It should be noted that; buildings within municipalities are managed by the said Municipality, hence, it is therefore within the relevant municipalities’ authority to process the proposed request of renaming of buildings within its locality.
(c). The democracy and freedom we enjoy today was not only made possible by the efforts of South Africans alone. Our struggle was a humane struggle supported by progressive global community. Countries from the Southern African Development Community in particular paid the heaviest price. These countries were destabilized, their economies sabotaged and their territorial integrity violated on a number of occasions by the apartheid government.
To honour them in this manner amongst others, is a way of showing our appreciation to the contributions they have made in our struggle for freedom.