|His Worship The Mayor
Mr P M Kate
Dear Mr Mayor
RE : RE-NAMING OF “GRAHAMSTOWN”
You may be aware that I have recently launched in my personal capacity a “Keep Grahamstown Grahamstown” (KGG) Campaign in response to your announcement that the name Grahamstown “must go”.
I launched the campaign after conducting a sample survey to determine how Grahamstonians really feel about the matter.
The methodology, as explained in the analysis as attached*, was designed to achieve as balanced a result as possible.
The final outcome was that nearly 80% of those polled favoured keeping the name Grahamstown. This included more than 60% of Grahamstown East (“Black”) residents polled at the Market Square Mall where they were in the majority and the questionnaire was in Xhosa.
On that basis, I concluded that the name “Grahamstown” is in fact not offensive to the majority of Grahamstonians as a whole nor even to the majority of Black residents.
Hence my decision to launch the “KGG” Campaign as I believe this is a matter which should be determined by Grahamstonians themselves.
As the debate on the issue has the potential to be an acrimonious and potentially divisive one, I want to make it clear that the motivation for the campaign is by no means to honour John Graham or his deeds.
The motivation of the campaign is rather that Grahamstown has achieved an identity of its own which is no longer really associated with the name of John Graham, but to the extent that it is, it is important to retain the name Grahamstown alongside that of Makana as the use of the two names tells the story of how far we’ve come along the road of history and of how opposing histories have become reconciled.
I trust, therefore, that the “KGG” Campaign will be seen in its proper context as attempting to make a positive contribution to the process as initiated by you.
Jock McConnachie (for “KGG” Campaign)
(* Available on request)