Road Naming (Part 2)

Not all street names proved to be popular and were often controversial for residents.

When Central Avenue was constructed, three street name plates were made for its original name, Stuttaford Ave, and installed. The next morning all three nameplates had been removed and were lying on the ground. A resident wrote a letter to Garden Cities indicating he was unhappy with Stuttaford and did not want the road to be named after him. The road was renamed Central Avenue. Since then, the Stuttaford family has refused the name of Stuttaford to be used in Pinelands.

The residents of Bontheuwel were unsuccessful with their many petitions over the years to have their road renamed. The name seems to refer to a “Bonteheuwel” (small hill) in the area, marked on a map of the early 1800’s.

Also without success were the complaints in 1948 when the Local Board accidently renamed Hampstead Way to Hampstead Heath. An irate resident wrote: “Now it seems that we have to live with that awful name for the rest of our lives.” It seems that the “renaming” occurred when a road sign was incorrectly made. The new name stuck.

Another error in road naming occurred when Maroela Way was misspelt on the formally approved map as Mareola Way and has been left as such.

The most controversial naming of a Pinelands Road was the naming of Jan Smuts Drive.

In April 1951 the Pinelands Municipal Council decided to name Route no. 21 from Sunrise Circle to Klipfontein Road in honour of Jan Smuts, because of his close connection with Pinelands. It was Jan Smuts who laid the foundation stone of Pinelands at the end of Central Avenue in 1923.

Cape Town City Council was asked also to name their portion of the route Jan Smuts Drive, but they claimed that this name was reserved for the new Foreshore development. They suggested the name Saldanha Road. Pinelands rejected this and named the road Pinelands Drive.

All went well for six months, until Pinelands found out that the Cape Town was going to use the name Jan Smuts for an unimportant, small road. In addition, for years Forest Drive had been called “Pinelands Drive” by uninformed residents in surrounding areas; this therefore caused considerable confusion.

In February 1952 the Town Clerk of Pinelands informed Cape Town that the name would be Jan Smuts Drive. Cape Town accepted the situation.