NEWS & ANALYSIS

Renaming of Vanderkloof Dam stealing history - FF Plus NCape

Wynand Boshoff says Mandela had nothing to do with it, unlike PK le Roux after whom it was first named

FF Plus rejects minister’s plan to rename the Vanderkloof Dam Mandela Dam

The announcement made by Minister Jeff Radebe that the Vanderkloof Dam will be renamed after former President Nelson Mandela will be actively opposed by the FF Plus. It is nothing short of stealing history.

The second largest dam in South Africa was first named after the then Minister of Waterworks, P.K. le Roux. It was not a vain veneration, but an acknowledgement of Le Roux’s vision and great contribution to making the Orange River Irrigation Scheme a reality.

It can be stated without fear of contradiction that the devastating droughts of the past few years would have had a much greater impact had the visionary leaders not implemented this scheme in the sixties.

The biggest dam in the scheme, and in South Africa, was named after H.F. Verwoerd at the time because he was the greatest driving force behind the project. The Verwoerd Dam was built by a foreign consortium seeing as South Africa did not have the expertise for such a great undertaking.

One of the conditions in the contract was that South Africans had to be trained in the process of building the dam. As a result, the Department of Waterworks was equipped to build the P.K. le Roux Dam. Various other projects followed.

After the 1994 transition, when the two dams were given neutral names, namely the Gariep Dam and Vanderkloof Dam, the FF Plus accepted the change as part of a peaceful settlement.

It is ludicrous that since 1994, no comparable projects that can be named after former President Nelson Mandela have been undertaken and completed. The FF Plus will actively oppose this renaming.

Statement issued by Dr. Wynand Boshoff, FF Plus provincial leader: Northern Cape, 9 May 2018