Mbizana Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape has been renamed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Local Municipality.
The area is renamed after its most famous daughter.
The new name of the municipality, sitting in Mbizana, was signed off by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Xolile Nqatha in a provincial Government Gazette on Thursday.
The name change is to take effect from the first day of the month following publication in the provincial gazette.
The Eastern Cape’s Arts and Culture MEC Fezeka Nkomonye said her department appreciated the renaming of the municipality after Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The move immortalises Madikizela-Mandela for her selfless and massive contribution in the attainment of freedom and democracy in South Africa, said Nkomonye.
“This also acknowledges the significant role played by women in the struggle for national liberation,” added Nkomonye.
Winifred Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela was born at Mbhongweni Village in Mbizana on 26 September 1936.
More significantly, her marriage ceremony with the late President Nelson Mandela took place at Ludeke Mission at Ludeke Village in Mbizana on 14 June 1958.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Local Municipality Mayor Daniswa Mafumbatha said the decision to rename the municipality after Madikizela-Mandela is to honour her for her role in fighting apartheid and the resilience she demonstrated as a freedom fighter and as a mother.
She said the proposal for the name was first made in 2018. Mafumbatha said: “The renaming… will preserve her name for generations to come.
“Winnie Madikizela Mandela married the former President Nelson Mandela here in Mbizana in June of 1958. That alone is a rich heritage that needs to be preserved and kept for generations to come.”
The province’s Cogta spokesperson Mamkeli Ngam said the name was signed off by Nqatha after it was proposed by Mbizana Municipality following a consultation processes.
The municipality, situated on the Wild Coast, in the former Transkei, has 31 wards.
The council is made up of 62 councillors and 12 traditional leaders.
Asked if there were more municipalities in line for renaming, Nkomonye said: “The need to rename other municipalities in the Eastern Cape will result from public participation processes and consultations that local authorities conduct from time to time.
“Cogta and municipalities will handle those processes on their own. The department and the Eastern Cape provincial Geographical Names Committee will only assist on areas (where) Cogta and municipalities need clarity or support.”