Plans to name new hostels in Langa gather momentum

SIYAVUYA KHAYA

Following the completion and the allocation of new flats on Bhunga Drive, towards the end of last year, the City of Cape Town’s Naming Committee last week released a list of names to be considered for the naming of the flats.

The 19 names have been forwarded to the mayor Patricia de Lille for approval. The names include Hamilton Naki Square, Elangeni, Khayelethu, Masihlanganeni, Ruth Vimbela, New Hope, Ukhozi, Zamokuhle, Willard Nodlela, Ekuhleni, Ekuphumleni, Sinqobile, Ntsikelelo Sneke, Nkonjane, Enkululekweni, Sonwabile, Simunye, Price Siqwana and Sipho Gxabeka.

Vukani took to the streets to do a snap survey and hear residents’ thoughts. It seems Hamilton Naki Square is already the preferred name.

Resident Ayanda Cuba said he would like the flats to be named after Hamilton Naki. Mr Naki had lived at the Langa Special Quarters many years ago and was a self-taught surgeon. Mr Naki made a mark on SA historyby taking part in the first ever heart-transplant carried out by Dr Christiaan Barnard and his team in 1967.

Mr Cuba said: “I knew Mr Naki. He was a well-respected person who was not just a parent to his biological children, but he was a parent to us as well. The government has not really made any strides to preserve his legacy and even some people here in Langa do not know who Hamilton Naki is.”

“I’m not related to him, but I think naming this community of ours after him is the right thing to do. That would ensure that his name is engraved on Langa people’s minds for years to come,” said Mr Cuba.

Another resident, Sihle Nota said he would be thrilled if the flats were named after Ntsikelelo Sneke. Mr Sneke also lived in Special Quarters. Mr Nota added that Mr Sneke was a people’s person. He worked for the municipality and he hated to see people living in poverty. He assisted many people who were looking for jobs, and he made sure that whenever there was a job vacancy at the municipality, he would inform people of Langa to apply,” he said.

Mr Nota said Mr Sneke used a lot of his connections to better people’s live in Langa. He said he never wanted to see young people struggling to find employment. “ I feel blessed that I had an opportunity to personally know him. I have known him all of my life as he was our neighbour. Even when he left Cape Town and returned to his home town of Mount Frere, he continued to show his kindness. He bought a bus while he was still alive in the Eastern Cape and he would transport people to town even though some did not have the bus fare. They would pay the money when they had it. When he died in 2012, I went to his funeral because I wanted to pay my last respects to this wonderful man,” he said. He described Mr Sneke as a true activist.

Nolusipho Picane said she preferred Hamilton Naki although she knew nothing about the man. “I don’t know Hamilton Naki and I have never heard of him, but I think this is the appropriate name. In fact, this area is already called Hamilton Naki Square after there was a brief community meeting to choose a name,” she said.

Community leader Sam Mkunkqa said they chose the name Hamilton Naki Square because they wanted to honour his legacy and the great contribution he made in Langa while he lived at the Special Quarters.

“Residents had already knew what name they wanted and it was not difficult to choose the name and it is the right name to call our community,” he said.

Another resident, Nolusipho Mthetho agreed that Hamilton Naki Square was the appropriate name and the mayor must approve it.. “This area is already called Hamilton Naki square and I had never heard of Hamilton Naki, but I want his name to be the name of our community,” she said.