Renaming Huguenot Tunnel to Abdullah Omar


Attention: The South African National Roads Agency

Dear Sir

It is most disturbing to hear that there is the intention to rename to Huguenot Tunnel. If there is a desire to honour the memory of the late Transport Minister Abdullah Omar, then build something in his honour. It is unethical to name an already established tunnel after someone just deceased.

Those who designed and built the engineering masterpiece of the Huguenot Tunnel, did it in the name of the French Huguenots who fled persecution and oppression to find peace and freedom here in the Cape. It would be theft to take what others have designed, built and dedicated and name it after someone who had absolutely nothing to do with it.

The real way to honour Minister Omar would be to dedicate a new project to him.

The Huguenot Tunnel is known and respected world-wide. Along with Franschoek, and the Huguenot Monument it is a significant tourist attraction. The French Huguenots, who began arriving in South Africa in 1688, had come through such horrific persecution and showed such tenacity to re-build their lives, carving farmlands out of the wilderness. Their
work ethic and faith serve as an inspiration to us all.

It is noteworthy that places named after politicians generally need to be re-named some time later. Examples that come to mind of cities that had to be re-named include: Salisbury, Leopoldville and Leningrad. All the airports in South Africa were once named after politicians, such as D F Malan and Jan Smuts, but they also had to be renamed.

Similarly our dams which were named after H F Verwoerd, etc. We submit that it is
inappropriate to name such public feats of engineering after any politician. It is divisive and short-sighted.

Africa Christian Action and the Christian Action Network support the Huguenot Society of South Africa in their stand to preserve the name of the Huguenot Tunnel.

Yours sincerely

Dr Peter Hammond

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa - 021-689-4481 -
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