Vol. 56 No. 4 (2008)
Research Article

Tshwane, a San Name for Pretoria, South Africa

Published 2008-12-01



Tshwane is the Tswana name for the Apies River. This name has been used by Tswana speakers for many years also to refer to the city of Pretoria. In the process of the transformation of geographical names in South Africa, the name Tshwane has been proposed as a replacement for the name Pretoria. Various explanations of the meaning of the name Tshwane have been suggested, but most have been discarded on linguistic grounds. On the basis of the river name being primary, this article argues that Apies is synonymous with, or has the same meaning as, an ancient Bushman (San) name of which Tshwane is an adaptation.


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