Table showing names of places and possible new names
The table of contents that show the current names of places and the proposed new names as brought forward by the applicants who are mentioned in the first column.

Apparently if you are a resident of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality (GTM) you have
the right to use your spare time and apply to have your town’s name changed for no
apparent reason.

In fact, according to Gerald Twala, the chairperson of the Limpopo Provincial Geographical
Names Committee, anyone has the right to submit an application for name
changes to towns and other significant areas within municipalities.

This week councillors of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality were informed of a meeting
to be held today (Friday the 24th of November) at the municipal offices, to consider
the submissions made to change certain names in and around Tzaneen.

Some of the proposed names include renaming Haenertsburg to Bjatladi Ga-Makgoba,
renaming Debengeni Waterfalls to Dipitseng Dokodiba Ga-Makgoba, renaming
Danie Joubert Street in Tzaneen’s CBD to Ndavi Nokeri Street and even renaming
Tzaneen to Tshaneng Town.

The process to have a name changed is a lengthy one and requires at least at one
point, the involvement of the public through a public participation forum. This means
that at some point you as the ratepayer will be asked for your input on the proposal
to have a name changed and judging by the feedback from the public, the proposed
application is then presented to the South African Geographical Names Council for

The renaming of Danie Joubert Street in honour of former Miss South Africa, Ndavi
Nokeri is one of the proposals that have had Tzaneen residents scratching their

“Joubert was one of the founding fathers of this town and was elected mayor twice
in his lifetime. No disrespect but Ndavi matriculated two years ago and her only claim
to fame was becoming the third Limpopo woman to wear a beauty pageant crown,”
said one concerned ratepayer.

We asked the GTM spokesperson, Vutivi Makhubele, who the applicant in the name
changing proposal was and she said that he was a resident of the GTM who made an
application / proposal to the Limpopo Provincial Geographic Names Committee for
streets renaming.

The meeting this morning is limited to only GTM councillors, however, Makhubele
said that a schedule for public consultation meetings on the subject will be determined
in the meeting.

“Kindly note that this does not mean that the changes will come into effect as this briefing session forms part of a number of steps that must first be taken,” said the GTM spokesperson in a media statement. “The next step involves Public Participation Meetings where residents will be given the opportunity to have their say and submit objections.”