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Pretoria History, South Africa

Pretoria is a city found in the northern part of Gauteng Province in South Africa. This city is one of the country’s three capital cities and serves as the executive (administrative) capital. The two other capitals are Cape Town and Bloemfontein, which are the legislative and judicial capitals. Pretoria is included in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality considered as one of some previous constituent governments (among which are also Centurion and Soshanguve). Sometimes Pretoria is mistakenly compared to as Tshwane and this controversial matter is still being settled starting January 2006.

Changing the name of Pretoria to Tshwane was granted on May 26, 2005 by the South African Geographical Names Council, which is connected to the Directorate of Heritage in the Department of Arts and Culture. Formerly, Tshwane is already the name of the Metropolitan Municipality where Pretoria and numerous nearby towns are located. Even though it has been already granted by the SAGNC, as of March 31, 2006 the Minister of Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan has not yet approve it.

While Pallo Jordan appealed that the issue must conduct thorough research, the issue is still ongoing. Should the change of the name be approve by the minister, the Government Gazzete will publish the name; on that issue the society will be given a chance to give opinion. The opinion of the society will be submitted first by the Minister to the SAGNC before giving this proposal to the parliament, who will cast a vote on the issue. Different concerned public organization advised that the issue would be discussed in court. The long procedures made it improbable that the name be changed in 2006; even the public presume that the Minister had granted the change early in the year of 2006.

A number of trivia goes with this famous city like the one of the longest urban and straight streets in the world: Church Street. Another one was that during springtime lots of Jacaranda trees in the city streets bloom purplish blue and they it give pride to the city’s nickname “Jacaranda City.”

On January 26, 1905 the biggest ever found diamond gem “ Cullinan Diamond” was found in the town of Cullinan close to Pretoria. Pax Praetoriana was named after Pretoria and Pretoria Philadelphia “Pretoria of brotherly love” was the initial full name of the city.

Indeed, these facts proved that Pretoria had become known to the word.

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