Theatre to be renamed after slain actor as Kempton Park to undergo name changes

Rhythm City Actor Dumi Masilela.

The Germiston Theatre and Kempton Park’s Voortrekker Road are just a few of the things that will change when the City of Ekurhuleni kick-starts its latest renaming process.

According to the Kempton Express, you may soon find yourself entering Kempton Park via Amon Ngulele Street, while Amina Cachalia Street will take you into Benoni after the resolution to rename certain landmarks was adopted at a council sitting held on February 21.

If you want to get to Isando off the R24, your best route will be via Lazarus Mawela Street. And if you are stuck in a major traffic jam, you are most likely at the George Bizos Interchange.

The Germiston Theatre is set to be named after the late artist and actor Dumi Masilela of Van Riebeeck Park.

He starred in the daily eTV drama series Rhythm City and played the role of S’fiso Ngema.

Masilela died after being shot in a tragic hijacking attempt in 2017 in Tembisa.

The Voortrekker Road off-ramp from the R21 into Kempton Park is proposed to be named after Ekurhuleni-born freedom struggle veteran Amon Ngulele. Ngulele nominated the name Ekurhuleni when the city itself was going through a naming process.

He was a unionist and SACP leader who became a chief whip of council in the then Kempton Park Municipality (Khayalami Metro) after the first local democratic elections in 1995. He died in 2003.

Other proposed names adopted by council include:

• Barbara Road (R24) to Lazarus Mawela Road: Mawela was an activist during the 1976 student uprising and a founding member of the Black People Convention, which was a forerunner to the United Democratic Front (UDF).

He was also a former councillor in the then Lethabong municipality following the first local democratic elections in 1995.

• New Library in Tsakane – Mpho Rahab Molepo Library: she was among the leading women who participated in the 1956 pass law resistance march and a renowned community leader in the 1980s.

• Tokoza (R59) – Dumisa Ntuli: He was involved in establishing the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) in Katlehong, Vosloorus and surrounding towns in 1983. He led COSAS until it was banned in 1985.

He was an active member of the UDF in his community and spent three years in detention at Modderbee Prison for his political activities. He served as the spokesperson of both the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the ANC in Gauteng.

• Holfontein/Etwatwa (N12) – Richard Mhlongo: he led the East Rand Student Congress, ERASO and DASCO and was part of the MKMVA underground machinery and similarly involved in the establishment of Daveyton Civic Organisation.

• Tom Jones Road (N12) – Amina Cachalia: She began campaigning against apartheid and racial discrimination as a teenager. She became a women’s rights activist, often focusing on economic issues such as financial independence for women.

She spent 15 years under house arrest throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She was treasurer of the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw), a leading supporter of the Federation of Transvaal Women and a member of both the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress and Transvaal Indian Congress during the apartheid era.

• Edenvale (N12) – Lungile Mtshali: She started her political activities in the union where she became a shop steward for SACCAWU in the late 1980s while working at OK Bazaar in Germiston until 1996.

She was part of the national negotiating team for living wages and working conditions. Her activism continued beyond unions as a member of both the ANC and ANCWL.

She served as a member of the Ekurhuleni ANC regional committee from 1995, then was later elected as a councillor, which led to her becoming deputy chairperson of Gauteng SALGA.

• Gillooly’s Interchange (N12) – George Bizos: During the apartheid years, Bizos dedicated his working life to fight for basic human rights. After the collapse of apartheid, he turned his fight into ensuring that all South Africans equally enjoy those rights enshrined and guaranteed by the Constitution.

In his legal career, he represented many political activists in high-profile political trials, including Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial.

There are about 42 proposed names. These names will go through a consultation process through an advertisement in the local media for comments and objections while public hearings and constituency meetings organised and facilitated by councillors will also be held.

Comments and inputs will be consolidated for further submission to the council for approval.

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