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Parts of Loveday Street are up for renaming, with Civic Boulevard and City Hall Street proposed, along with the names of activists David Webster and Bheki Mlangeni.
PORTIONS of Loveday Street, a circuitous route in the Joburg inner city, will have new signage by August, as the City reviews public submissions for its renaming.

A map showing portions of Loveday Street to be renamedA map showing portions of Loveday Street to be renamedPortions chosen for renaming include Hoofd at the intersection of De Korte Street; Juta at the corner of De Korte Street; the section between Smit Street and Leyds Street; and the section between Noord and President streets. Proposed new names are those of the academic and anti-apartheid activist, David Webster, and the human rights lawyer and activist, Bheki Mlangeni.
The chosen names comply with the City’s Policy on the Naming and Renaming of Streets and Other Public Places, under which the use of personal names should be avoided except in special cases.

A report from the development planning and urban management department says the proposed renaming of portions of Loveday Street has been pending for some time because of poor response from the public.

The renaming is premised on the confusion of the actual location of Loveday Street, as portions of certain streets in the inner city are also known as Loveday Street. “The name change will eliminate the confusion that currently exists about the actual location of Loveday Street,” says the report.

The City has considered an appropriate choice of new names based on the history and character of the areas concerned, notes the report. As a result, three themes were submitted, including profiling current and historical centres of significance in local governance and honouring Mlangeni and Webster.

Webster taught anthropology at Wits University. He was shot dead by a covert government agency outside his house. Mlangeni was a human rights lawyer and activity who died in 1991 after opening a parcel from the Braamfontein Post Office, which contained a bomb. The intended target of the parcel was Dirk Coetzee, a former policeman who gave evidence against state-sponsored death-squads. The parcel was unwittingly collected by Mlangeni.

Loveday StreetPortions of Loveday Street after renaming“It is recommended that Mlangeni be commemorated by renaming in his honour the portion of Loveday Street between De Korte and Juta streets, which is located nearby the post office,” says the report. Approval for such renaming has been granted by Mlangeni’s widow.
Sections proposed for renaming are framed at each end by important local centres of governance. “These are in the north the Metropolitan Centre and surrounding civic precinct, and in the south the historic City Hall complex, now the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. The Metropolitan Centre, the principal seat of the council crowns the northern portion of Loveday Street, from De Korte Street to Hoofd Street.”

Clustered along the street are other notable public buildings belonging to the council, namely the Metro-Link Reception Centre and the Johannesburg Theatre.

It is suggested that the northern end of Loveday Street be re-named Civic Boulevard, “conferring a distinctive, fitting address for Joburg’s civic precinct and seat of local government”, the report says.

Civic Boulevard
“The proposed Civic Boulevard presents an attractive setting flanked by landscaped gardens, with the Sappi Park on one side and the gardens of the Metropolitan Centre on the other. Taken together with its surroundings, the area offers characteristic features of a public boulevard and these can be enhanced and further developed over time.”

As an alternative, the City is considering whether the roadway between Hoofd and De Korte streets should be incorporated as part of Rissik Street, with which it links from the south. The preferred name, however, is Civic Boulevard “because it adds to place making, sign-posting this area as a distinctive destination point and home to the main civic precinct of the city”.

The public will be consulted before the name changes are effectedPortions of Loveday Street will be named after two anti-apartheid activistsAnother part proposed for remaining is between President Street and Noord Street, which leads to the historic City Hall building. Before moving to the Civic Centre in Braamfontein, Joburg’s municipal offices were housed here. The building opened in 1915 and was extended by two storeys in 1937. It was promulgated as a national monument in 1979.
“Although the name and function of the City Hall complex has changed, it is important to retain a memory of the building’s past. It is therefore recommended that the portion of Loveday Street immediately south of the Gauteng Legislature be re-named City Hall Street,” the report says.

Loveday Street was named for Richard Kelsey Loveday, a Rand pioneer. Part of Loveday Street south of the Gauteng Legislature will continue to carry the Loveday name and “memory”.

All financial implications and physical changes will be handled by the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), which will submit a quotation before implementation. “There will be no cost implications for development planning and urban management,” says the report.

Affected communities will be notified of the changes via the normal Promotion of Access to Information procedures, Greeff says, adding that name changes will be advertised in local newspapers and the relevant authorities, such as the Surveyor-General’s Office, Registrar of Deeds, Post Master General, Telkom, SAPS, Gauteng Geographic Names Committee, JRA, EMS and other bodies.

The council still needs to approve the name changes.

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