Rename, or Don’t.
Christiaan Barnard Street
Early Adderly Street
Heritage plays an important role in self-identity, and hence the heritage of a country defines it. As a people we learn and improve through our past experiences and our history. This is especially relevant in a country like South Africa; having such an eventful and colourful past, it is essential we recognise all places, buildings, roads and dates that played a role in shaping our country today. Whereas the history of a given article is the cold, hard happenings of the past, heritage is what one identifies with in their history, and this can be tangible hereditary heritage (skin colour) or cultural heritage and traditional, such as religion and customs. The aim of this report is to explore the concept and importance of heritage, and its impacts on modern Cape Tonian reflections of heritage such as street names. Herein the example of Oswald Pirow Street’s transformation to Christiaan Barnard Street is discussed as a prime example of correct renaming; however the impacts of name-changing in general shall be discussed as well. Our birthplace and place of residence forms part of our heritage; it is an identity that helps us place ourselves in the world. The preamble to The National Heritage Resources Act states that: “Our heritage is unique and precious and it cannot be renewed. It helps us to define our cultural identity and therefore lies at the heart of our spiritual well-being and has the power to build our nation. It has the potential to affirm our diverse cultures, and in so doing shape our national character.” This is a statement by our government that understanding and accepting our heritage is at the epicentre of our spiritual well being. The preservation of our national heritage sites is of the greatest importance. For many years, Oswald Pirow Street stood in existence in Cape Town. Named after Oswald Pirow, a far right politician and...
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