CAPE TOWN – Over 50 years after he led a peaceful march to Parliament against the demeaning apartheid pass laws, the road on which Philip Kgosana and the protesters walked will be renamed in his honour.
The City of Cape Town on Thursday approved the renaming of De Waal Drive in honour of the struggle stalwart and former regional secretary of the Pan Africanist Congress.
Chairperson of the naming and nomination committee Brett Herron on Friday said the decision made during the full council meeting on Thursday was unanimous.
“Naming and renaming is part of building an inclusive city,” he told News24.
“This means things like road names and markers need to reflect the diversity of Capetonians.”
Honouring Kgosana this way was fitting, Herron continued, saying he was excited and welcomed the approval.
New signage will be ordered and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is expected to host a renaming ceremony in her former cadre’s honour.
The proposal for the renaming came from former Cape Times newspaper editor Tony Heard, who was present at the protest on March 30, 1960.
The road was originally named after Nicolaas de Waal, the first administrator of the Cape Province who initiated the road’s construction.
Kgosana was only 23 years old when he was at the helm of the PAC march in which tens of thousands of people walked from Langa and Nyanga to Parliament.
Protesters walked about 12km via De Waal Drive into the city, to show their ire following the Sharpeville massacre.
Kgosana was arrested and within a week the apartheid government had declared a state of emergency and banned the African National Congress and PAC, driving the movements underground and into militarisation.
Kgosana died on April 19, aged 80, after a short illness.
President Jacob Zuma declared a special provincial funeral for the veteran.
At the time of the original proposal, Kgosana was aware of the bid to rename the road, Herron said.
Kgosana’s son, Mohlabani, had said his father had been “deeply honoured” by the move and that the family supported it, Herron confirmed at the time.
PHOTO: Struggle hero Philip Kgosana. (Alide Dasnois, GroundUp, file)