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Pretoria in a nutshell
Pretoria is contained in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality as one of several constituent former administrations (among which also Centurion and Soshanguve), and therefore sometimes incorrectly referred to as Tshwane this contentious issue is still being decided as of today.
The Southern Transvaal Ndebele occupied the river valley, which was to become the location of the city of Pretoria, by around 1600.
During the difaqane in Natal, another band of refugees arrived in this area under the leadership of Mzilikazi. However, they were forced to abandon their villages in their flight from a regiment of Zulu raiders in 1832.
Pretoria itself was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius. The elder Pretorius had become a national hero of the Voortrekkers after his victory over the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River. Andries Pretorius also negotiated the Sand River Convention (1852), in which Britain acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal. This made him the first successful leader in the fight against British colonialism in Sub-Sahara Africa It became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on 1 May 1860. The founding of Pretoria as the capital of the South African Republic can be seen as marking the end of the Boers' settlement movements of the Great Trek.
After the creation of new municipal structures across South Africa in 2000, the name Tshwane was adopted for the Metropolitan Municipality that includes Pretoria and surrounding towns.
Pretoria previously had a rather sinister image as "the capital of Apartheid South Africa". However, Pretoria's political reputation was changed with the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the country's first black President at the Union Buildings in the same city. However, the name Pretoria still has a negative connotation to some black South Africans, and therefore a change of name to Tshwane has been proposed. This proposed change is controversial to most of the inhabitants of the city.
One example of the image of Pretoria abroad was the derisive nickname Pretoria-Gasteiz for Vitoria-Gasteiz in Negu Gorriak's song Napartheid.
In 1994 Peter Holmes Maluleka was elected as transitional mayor of Pretoria, until the first democratic election held later that year, making him the first black mayor of this capital of South Africa. Maluleka later became the chairman of the Greater Pretoria Metropolitan City Council (later Tshwane Metro Council), then was elected Speaker of the Tshwane Metro Council and in 2004 was chosen to be a member of the South African Parliament for the Soshanguve constituency.
One of the most popular sports in Pretoria is rugby union. Loftus Versfeld is home to the Blue Bulls who compete in the domestic Currie Cup, the Bulls who compete in the international Super 14 competition (Winners of the Super 14 in 2007) and to soccer side Mamelodi Sundowns . Pretoria also hosted matches during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Loftus Versfeld will be used for matches of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.There are two soccer teams in the city campaigning in the Premier Soccer League. They are Sundowns and Supersport United. Sundowns are the reigning PSL Champions. Cricket is also popular.
Pretoria is an important industrial center, with heavy industries including iron and steel casting as well as automobile, railway and machinery manufacture. In a study entitled An Inquiry into Cities and Their Role in Subnational Economic Growth in South Africa and published in 2002 by statisticians at Potchefstroom University, the city was found to contribute 8.55% of the country's total GDP, making it the third biggest contributor behind Johannesburg and Cape Town
Change of name
On 26 May 2005 the South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC), which is linked to the Directorate of Heritage in the Department of Arts and Culture, approved changing the name of Pretoria to Tshwane, which is already the name of the Metropolitan Municipality in which Pretoria, and a number of surrounding towns are located. Although the name change was approved by the SAGNC, it has not yet been approved by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan. The matter is currently under consideration while he has requested further research on the matter. Should the Minister approve the name change, the name will be published in the Government Gazette, giving the public opportunity to comment on the matter. The Minister can then refer the public response back to the SAGNC, before presenting his recommendation before parliament, who will vote on the change. Various public interest groups have warned that the name change will be challenged in court, should the minister approve the renaming. The long process involved made it unlikely the name would change anytime soon, if ever, even assuming the Minister had approved the change in early 2006.
The Tshwane Metro Council has advertised Tshwane as "Africa's leading capital city" since the name change was approved by the SAGNC in 2005. This has led to further controversy, however, as the name of the city had not yet been changed officially, and the council was, at best, acting prematurely. Following a complaint lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), it was ruled that such advertisements are deliberately misleading and should be withdrawn from all media. Despite the rulings of the ASA, Tshwane Metro Council failed to discontinue their "City of Tshwane" advertisements. As a result, the ASA requested that Tshwane Metro pay for advertisements in which it admits that it has misled the public. Refusing to abide by the ASA's request, the Metro Council was banned consequently from placing any advertisements in the South African media that refer to Tshwane as the capital. ASA may still place additional sanctions on the Metro Council that would prevent it from placing any advertisements in the South African media, including council notices and employment vacancies.
After the ruling, the Metro Council continued to place Tshwane advertisements, but placed them on council-owned advertising boards and busstops throughout the municipal area. In August 2007, an internal memo was leaked to the media in which the Tshwane mayor sought advice from the premier of Gauteng on whether the municipality could be called the "City of Tshwane" instead of just "Tshwane". This could increase confusion about the distinction between the city of Pretoria and the municipality of Tshwane.
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Pretoria is blessed with one of the best climates in the world!
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