Empire-Perth Corridor: shortlist of proposed new names

Coronationville Secondary School learners make a case for their proposed name for the Empire-Perth CorridorCoronationville Secondary School learners make a case for their proposed name for the Empire-Perth Corridor of Freedom during a presentation at Rand Girls' School on 30 September 2015. (Photo by Rudo Mungoshi)

Check out the shortlist of proposed new names for the Empire-Perth Corridor of Freedom, each with a brief rationale - and be prepared to vote for the one that most fires your imagination!

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1. Ithembalethu

Executive Mayor Parks Tau on a recent tour of the CorridorExecutive Mayor Parks Tau and JDA chief executive Thanduxolo Mendrew chat with an engineering intern working on the new pedestrian bridge being built near Rea Vaya's Westbury Station, during a recent tour of the Corridor. (Photo by Rudo Mungoshi)(Nguni for "our hope")

The nineteenth-century discovery of gold in what would become Johannesburg brought hope to people in the region. People from across southern Africa travelled to the fledgling city in search of economic freedom. They came driven by hope for a better future, despite being restricted by the land's laws.

Over a century later, Johannesburg is firmly established as the country's economic hub, and the hope that first brought people is undiminished. It is this hope that inspires the many people who live and work along this Corridor, speaks to them about a positive future for this beautiful city, and assures them that more and better development is yet to come.

2. //hapo

The Empire-Perth Corridor passes through Noordgesig and Orlando in SowetoThe Empire-Perth Corridor passes through Noordgesig and Orlando in Soweto. (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)Pronounced xhapo, //hapo is derived from the Khoi proverb "//hapo ge //hapo tama /haohasib dis tamas ka I bo", which means "a dream is not a dream until it is shared by the entire community".

What makes us human is our ability to dream and express ourselves through many forms, including art, and our freedom of expression is a right that must be protected at all costs as we continue to dream as a nation.

This name was inspired by the saying, "Art is the social consciousness of a society". Pre-1994, under the oppressive laws of apartheid, South Africans were not always able to express themselves. Art gave many an outlet for relating their experiences and voicing their feelings under apartheid, becoming not only an effective form of protest but also a vehicle for expressing the joys and struggles of what it means to be South African.

3. Sakhiwo

JDA public environment upgrades of key thoroughfares along the CorridorThe JDA's public environment upgrades of key thoroughfares along the Corridor are serving as catalysts for further socio-economic development. (Photo by Rudo Mungoshi)(Nguni for "structure, stability")

While our past was marred by inequality and segregation, some good things arose and survived that are worth celebrating and preserving. As we take on a new path, united in our diversity, it is important to remember our historical struggles - but also to embrace the good that came out of that time. This Corridor stands out for its rich architectural heritage, including sites now designated as historical sites or national key points, all of which is worth preserving for future generations and weaving into the new South African story we create together

4. Empilweni

("Place of healing/life" in most Nguni languages)

Dr Alfred Xuma, a doctor, intellectual and President of the African National Congress (ANC) in the 1940s, lived in the old Sophiatown - which is situated along the Corridor - at what is now the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre.

Dr Xuma's house, one of two houses to escape the destruction of Sophiatown by the apartheid government in the late 1950s, was named Empilweni, which roughly translates as "the place of healing or life". Dr Xuma arranged his consulting rooms within the house so there was one wing for his residence and another for his medical practice, where he served the local community.

Transit-oriented development is key to the thinking behind the CorridorsTransit-oriented development is key to the thinking behind the Corridors, which aim to provide residents with easier, more affordable access to places of work and leisure.It would be a fitting tribute to one of the great sons of our struggle to link his name and ethos to the Corridor.

5. Vusa

(Nguni for "awaken, renovate, restore")

The number of educational institutions clustered along this Corridor speaks to the bright future of the area and its communities. Young people from all over the country converge on this Corridor to learn to become positive contributors to the country through the realisation of their own dreams of a better life. With educational development, young people can take the country forward by awakening it to its own potential. Their commitment to a better tomorrow will guarantee the country's growth and progress.