Whilst the changing of Street names on Sedgefield Island certainly did not get the green light from locals last year, it seems other suburbs of Ward 1 – including Smutsville, Sizamile, Cola and Myoli – are home to far more accommodating residents.
With the three month period of public comment drawing to a close at 12 o’clock today, the Chairman of the Municipal Signage Commission Rapil Solof says that not a single objection has been received, and he is delighted that the renaming of roads in those areas may go ahead as planned.
When asked why the expensive process of change had been embarked on, Solof was obviously quite passionate about the task.
“It’s because some of the current names really aren’t appropriate. For example, Pacific Close – we don’t even have that ocean near our coastline, so why should we celebrate its existence at all?” he said, “It’s the same with Carribean Close – that is not even an African name at all.”
He quite rightly pointed out that people would prefer addresses that were linked to South Africa and its history, and that in-depth, all-inclusive research had been done by his committee in coming up with appropriate alternatives.
“We have a wide range of proposed names – mostly after Africa’s leaders of the past, but also some of the current presidents still leading the continent. We have kept them quiet because we don’t want any politicking, but I can tell you there is going to be a fight to choose who gets the best ones.”
He says that once the names have been released they will be allocated through a voting process, which his committee would closely monitor.
“With 44 roads being changed, we have chosen fifty new names,” Solof told us, “The decision of which name for which road will lie with the Sedgefield Residents.”
He went on to explain that the ‘voting’ would be done via an sms system, which itself would in turn generate income for the name change project.
“It’s simple. All residents have to do is type the old name, then the words ‘change to’ followed by the new name, and send it to 1417,” he said.
With each sms costing R80 this should more than cover the cost of erecting new signs, with perhaps a few Rands left to help with road maintenance.
“It’s a in-win situation,” he crooned.
In a cryptic conclusion, Solof suggested that residents who grasped the true nature of this change should perhaps consider keeping it to themselves instead of making it public knowledge.
“Otherwise you will be ruining the surprise!” he pointed out.