City sheds light on street renaming process

03 December 2019 | Local News

Yolanda Nel Weeks after residents took to social media to complain about 13 street name changes, the City of Windhoek (CoW) explains the matter at hand.
Asked about the cost of renaming a street, the City responded that the place naming process is guided by a policy approved by council in 2017. “This policy ensures an inclusive, consultative and transparent process that enjoys public support. Related costs are carefully considered and approved against the guidelines of said and all other relevant policies,” spokesperson Botha Ellis said, not revealing amounts.
With the current economic situation in dire straits and reports that the City doesn't have funds for certain important projects, Ellis said that the naming and renaming of streets and places after persons who made an impact on the development of the City, country or region, is a way of etching the country’s history in the memory of people. “It is also to honour individuals for their contributions to the development of the country and the City. These decisions are taken with careful consideration and within the guidelines of said policy,” he added.
With residents wanting to know why the City doesn’t use new neighbourhoods to honour heroes instead of renaming streets, Ellis said that according to the policy, names should be grouped in categories for use in the same area.
“There is a process by which any citizen or person, community or organisation in the geographical area of the City of Windhoek is entitled to propose the naming of new streets or the renaming of existing streets. Our policy prescribes a one-week period of advertisement in at least two local newspapers, advertising the proposed renaming of a street or public space and calling for objections from the public,” he said. “Council will take the final decision, considering all applicable criteria, on whether to accept the proposed name or not.”
Asked who is responsible to update online (Google) maps with new and renamed street names, he answered that the CoW Sustainable Development division only updates the municipal planning and billing system and then shares the changes with the Geomatics division and with the safety and emergency units.
In 2019, 16 streets were renamed in Windhoek.

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