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South Africa's Capital To Be Renamed in 2012

Cityscape of Pretoria, the capital of South Africa in 2010. The capital is set to be renamed at the end 2010. (file photo)

The official who oversees South Africa's capital, Pretoria, says the city will have a new name by the end of next year.

The mayor of Tshwane municipality, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, says all of Pretoria will be renamed Tshwane by the end of 2012.

The ruling African National Congress party has been working for years to rename the capital Tshwane, but the move has been strongly resisted, mainly by white South Africans.

Ramokgopa says the issue is currently before the culture minister for approval, adding his municipality would be "resolute and stubborn" to ensure the capital is renamed.

Speaking Monday, the mayor also vowed that major streets in Pretoria that are currently named after Afrikaners and apartheid-era officials will be renamed to honor anti-apartheid activists.

Chief Tshwane ruled the area before white settlers arrived in the early 19th century. The capital is currently named after Andries Pretorius - an Afrikaner who battled Zulu warriors and fought against colonial British rule.

Tshwane municipality was set up in 2000 and includes 13 towns, including Pretoria, which remains the center of government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.