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Union Buildings in Pretoria

Designed by Sir Herbert Baker

Dellville Woods Memorial

The Union Buildings are situated on Meintjies Kop in Pretoria (also known as Tshwane). Completed in 1913, the buildings are the official seat of the South African Government (General Louis Botha was the first South African Prime Minister to take office here). The semicircular building has 2 wings at either end representing the 2 sides of the then Union of South Africa - the Afrikaners and the British (this is also where the name of the buildings are derived from), who were housed on either side when the structure was first built.

Name change

The ANC Youth League has called for the name of the Union Buildings to be changed.

Ernst Roets
31 Oct 2006

"Such blatant disregard for the minority view clearly shows that the ANC and its Youth League have failed the test for a good democracy. Solidarity Youth regards name changes like those of Pretoria and Potchefstroom as an infringement of the fundamental cultural rights of the Afrikaner and a blatant attempt to erase the Afrikaner's positive contribution to South Africa from the history books." Solidarity chairperson Ernst Roets

Fikile Mbalula
October 2006

"Names such as this (the Union Buildings) mean absolutely nothing to most South Africans and are a symbol of oppression...Progress cannot be expected until the Union Buildings is renamed after important people (who fought in the struggle). There is nothing important about the Union Buildings but it was named (as such) as a symbol of oppression of our people...everything named by the apartheid government must be replaced...It's time for the Union Buildings to be renamed after a struggle veteran. The struggle produced a host of leaders ... who deserve to have their names given to the buildings." Fikile Mbalula, the youth league president, addressing supporters in Klerksdorp along with Jacob Zuma, the party's deputy president said in October 2006.

 

Other

In front of the Union Buildings are beautifully landscaped gardens. The clock chimes are identical to those of Big Ben in London. After South Africa's first fully democratic elections, the inauguration of Nelson Mandela took place at the Union Buildings in 1994.


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