In what is being termed as eradicating ties with the apartheid past, South Africa's minister of correctional services Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is to oversee the renaming of 11 of the country's prisons.

Through newspaper advertisements members of the public have been invited to submit suggestions to replace the existing "inappropriate" names of the prisons, all of which are named after places.

The new names should acknowledge "important events, geographical interests and personalities associated with the institutions" and must be submitted by 4 February 2011 after which public hearings to select the names will take place.

The move is part of Mapisa-Nqakula's ministerial heritage project to rename all correctional institutions in an effort to promote rehabilitation and human rights. A spokesperson from the ministry said that the new names should inspire the inmates and staff.

The ministry has confirmed that it has yet to budget for the name changes which Mapisa-Nqakula will reveal on 21 March on the occasion of Human Rights Day, after which the expenses will be calculated and announced at a later stage.

The prisons being renamed are Barberton, Modimolle, Johannesburg, Pretoria Central, Leeuwkop, St Albans, East London, Pollsmoor, Kroonstad, Durban Westville and Pietermaritzburg.