Make a name for yourself

13 April 2016 | Story by Newsroom

The names of five UCT buildings are under review, and the university wants your comments, suggestions and proposals.

The following buildings are up for renaming:

  • Smuts Hall (upper campus)
  • Beattie Building (upper campus)
  • Otto Beit Students Union (upper campus)
  • Wernher Beit (medical campus)
  • Jameson Hall (upper campus) *.

Send your comments and proposals for naming these buildings (with a motivation) to:

Marius Lund
Room 142, Bremner Building, Lover's Walk, Rondebosch

The deadlines:

  • * 15 April for Jameson Hall (the deadline has now passed)
  • 30 May for Smuts, Beattie, Otto Beit and Wernher Beit
“The conventional politics of memorialisation is canonisation. Done in this way, though, you effectively tame [someone's] ideas while elevating them in some fashion. Can we live up to their ideas? Can we critically engage with their ideas and see how they fit our changing situations? To what extent are we realising their vision? That to me is how you truly live up to somebody's name. Do we simply want competing nationalisms, where you replace the previous nationalism with a new version, or do we want something more radical? Renaming ought not to be an event, but a process by which we commit to critically engage with their ideas rather than foreclose that process.”

Dr Maanda Mulaudzi
A UCT historian who heads up the task team on the naming on buildings, reflects on the politics, opportunities and potential pitfalls of names in heritage.

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