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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Capital letters: material dissent and place name change in the 'new' South Africa, 2005-2006
Author:Swanepoel, NatalieISNI
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 0258-0144)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:place names
social conflicts
Abstract:In 2005 the municipal council that oversees Pretoria (South Africa's administrative capital) voted to officially change the name of the city to Tshwane. This was met with sustained resistance from various interest groups within the city. This is emblematic of the extent to which place names are vested with historical, political, economic and symbolic value. In addition to protests lodged through official channels, such as the South African Geographical Names Council and parliament, dissent about the name change has largely taken the form of attempts to prevent the use of the new name in public spaces and fora (such as advertising, television and road signs). This paper explores this material dissent with reference to the landscape of place name changes in South Africa and argues that the resistance has taken the form that it has because of a concerted attempt to prevent the 'performance' of the new name, since this would give the new name validity. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]