- Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has revealed that the government is considering changing the names of Cape Town International Airport, East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport and Kimberley Airport
- The EFF had campaigned last year to change the name of Cape Town International Airport to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport
- The DA is opposed to the changing of East London Airport to King Phalo Airport, citing that the name change would not bring any tangible benefits to the city
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Four airports face possible name changes after transport minister Fikile Mbalula responded to to a parliamentary question posed by the EFF.
EFF MP Nontando Nolutshungu had asked if the government would change the name of Cape Town International Airport to Winnie Mandela Airport.
Mbalula revealed that Cape Town International Airport, East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport and Kimberley Airport were being considered.
He said that the proposed name changes were in accordance with the South African Geographical Names Council Act of 1998 and is part of the Transformation of Heritage Landscape Government Programme according to Times Live.
The exact time scale for the proposed name changes is unknown but Mbalula confirmed that a consultant had been selected by Airports Company SA (ACSA) to ensure that the public is consulted in a transparent manner.
EFF and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport
In 2018, the Economic Freedom Fighters had proposed that Cape Town International airport be renamed in honour of late struggle veteran and former wife to Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The opposition party had mobilised its supporters in a campaign to change the airport's name. This is what prompted the parliamentary question to which Mbalula replied.
DA not in favour of proposed name change
The Democratic Alliance are against the proposal to change East London Airport to King Phalo Airport.
Chantel King, the DA's coastal constituency leader said that the proposed name change would not benefit the community. She said that it would not lead to higher tourist numbers, business investment, employment, service delivery or solve the many problems plaguing the city.
“Instead of spending millions on new signage, the money should be used to improve the lives of the people of the Buffalo City,” she said in a statement. “The DA is circulating a petition that we will be submitting to the department before the petitions deadline on September 17.
“We will not stand idly by and watch how millions of rand are wasted on frivolous name changes with money that can rather be used to improve the lives of residents.”
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Economic Freedom Fighter Julius Malema has weighed in with his views on the ANC's decision to force members facing serious charges to step aside.
Malema slammed the policy as illegal and even unconstitutional recently while addressing the media outside of the Randburg Magistrate's Court.
In other news, the Road Accident Fund is seeking to secure a 'finance facility' in order to cover a staggering R17 billion in unpaid claims with some claimants waiting over 5 years for relief.
This alarming situation was revealed in a written parliamentary response to an EFF question by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula:
"The revenue received by the Road Accident Fund from the fuel levy is insufficient to address its claims liability."
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