renaming the R301 potentially has multiple be - nefits for the Drakenstein community. One such advantage would be establishing a single stan - dardised name for the road – it is currently also called Main Road 201 or the Wemmershoek - pad, which causes unnecessary confusion. Besides such practical benefits, the name change promises to boost Drakenstein’s visibility as a celebrated heritage centre and to attract more tourists and visitors to the area. Especially for tourists interested in retracing Madiba’s steps, it makes for a natural next stop after visiting his cell in the Robben Island Prison, as well as the Grand Parade and City Hall in Cape Town where he delivered his first public address following his release, with the world watching. While the Madiba Prison House is currently not open to visitors, the Western Cape Department of Arts and Culture has plans to turn the historic building into a museum. (Be sure to check out this behind-the-scenes video of the making of a short documentary on the Madiba Prison House.) In the meanwhile, Madiba’s statue at the prison’s entrance is the perfect spot for a selfie.

participation process, the following role-players were involved in the renaming process:

• The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works; • The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport;

• The South African National Roads Agency; • The Western Cape Provincial Geographical Names Committee; and • The South African Geographical Names Council. The Nelson Mandela Foundation granted permission for the use of the Mandela name. The formal renaming (including the installation of new road signs) will take place once the road has been upgraded. Did you know? Drakenstein Municipality’s logo also pays homage to Madiba. The figure in the centre is a depiction of the late President Nelson Mandela who took his first steps of freedom in Drakenstein and passed on a legacy of reconciliation and selfless dedication to service to the community. As such, it also embodies achievement and excellence. The dark blue ridges in the outer frame symbolise Drakenstein's mountain ranges. The lighter blue crescents represent the Berg River, as well as the Drakenstein Valley, nestled between the mountain ranges. The smaller green crescents signify growth, development, and agriculture.

27 for Freedom follows in Madiba’s footsteps

The 301 is also where the annual 27 for Freedom Road Race is held to commemorate Mandela’s historic release -- and this year was no different. On Saturday, 11 February 2023, you could walk or run along the same route Madiba followed as he left prison, from the Madiba Prison House to the Madiba Statue at the entrance of the facility. Participants could choose between a 5km fun run, a 10km race, or a 27km route. A road name is not changed overnight The Drakenstein Municipal Council submitted its first application to rename a portion of the R301 in 2018. In addition to upholding due diligence and following the standard public


VARS | February

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