- The SA government has released a list of 13 different name changes to towns and airports
- Port Elizabeth, as well as the Port Elizabeth International Airport, are just two of the big name changes
- The changes have been gazetted and approved by Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa
The South African Government has officially approved and gazetted 13 name changes from towns to airports. Port Elizabeth is the big one with the Friendly City's name being changed to Gqeberha.
Reports say that the name change process was lengthy and lasted around two years. At this time, residents were given the opportunity to challenge the name changes that were proposed. Back in 2019, PE residents were not impressed by the possible name change.
The PE International Airport and several other towns, such as Berlin, Uitenhage, and King Williams Town's name changes were also recognised by Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
The South African reports that the name Gqeberha is an isiXhosa name submitted by Boy Lamani of KwaMagxaki. A report by Business Insider revealed that the name change for East London's airport gained a lot of criticism from traditional healers who wanted the airport to be named after Chief Pato of AmaGqunukhwebe.
Port Elizabeth International Airport will change to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport while East London Airport will change to King Phalo Airport.
View the list of approved name changes below:
- Port Elizabeth will be changed to Gqeberha
- Uitenhage will be changed to Kariega
- Berlin will be changed to Ntabozuko
- MaClear Town will change to Nqanqarhu
- King Williams Town will change to Qonce
- Cisirat will change to Chisirha
- Cizele will change to Chizele
- Mfabantu will change to Khohlombeni and KwaNyezi
- Lota will have a few name changes for the different areas:
10. Katkop will also be broken down into a few areas:
- Nongqulana Mountain
11. Pierre Mission will be changed to Pirie Mission
Tweeps had a lot to say about the name changes, about Gqeberha. Read some of the tweets below:
"Why is Port Elizabeth's name changing one will think there are more important things to do?"
"There was really no need to name Port Elizabeth Gqeberha."
"Official now the is no longer a colonial city called Port Elizabeth our city is called Gqeberha. No area called Uitenhage now is Kariega. Thanks, Minister Mthethwa siyabulela."
@kulanicool also wrote:
"Port Elizabeth is now called Gqeberha, for the why?"
@SikeeDlang responded to the news with:
"Port Elizabeth is now officially called GQEBERHA. Our siblings from the north of South Africa will be saying Ceberha."
"Went to sleep in Port Elizabeth and woke up in Gqeberha."
"If there was really no choice to rename, I think that the proper isiXhosa name for Port Elizabeth "iBhayi" would have been a better pick than Gqeberha."
"I cannot even pronounce the name, which means it will remain Port Elizabeth to me."
Briefly.co.za previously reported that the government was considering naming an airport after the late Winnie Mandela. This happened after EFF MP Nontando Nolutshungu had asked if the government would change the name of Cape Town International Airport to Winnie Mandela Airport.
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 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula replied that Cape Town International Airport, East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport and Kimberley Airport were being considered for name changes.
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.
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