The public hearings process is currently underway. The city of Port Elizabeth, capital of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, is due to be renamed as a means of historical redress.
This is the decision undertaken by both the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) and the Eastern Cape Provincial Geographical Names Committee (ECPGNC).
Public hearings concerning Port Elizabeth’s proposed name changes began on Tuesday. The renaming process extends beyond just the city and includes a proposal to retitle Port Elizabeth International Airport and the nearby town of Uitenhage.
New names for Port Elizabeth
According to the renaming committee’s spokesperson, Andile Nduna, Port Elizabeth locals will be afforded the opportunity to vote for one of the following names – objections to the proposed name changes will also be taken into account. Here is what Port Elizabeth may soon be known as:
Nelson Mandela City
Nduna explained that the current public hearings process was a way to engage locals on cultural issues, reaffirming that all proposed names were intricately connected to Port Elizabeth and would better reflect the city’s indigenous heritage, saying:
“The ECPGNC has received applications for proposed renaming, conducted research on the name and facilitated a consultative process with local community concerned, business, faith organisations, and other stakeholders in the jurisdiction of the place to be renamed.
We are now in the stage of public hearings and advertisement of proposed names for public comment where details of reason for the proposed standardization of each name will be presented.
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If a consensus on the new name has been reached amongst all relevant stakeholders, the Committee makes recommendations to the national South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC) which examines the processes followed in coming to the conclusion that such a name should be standardised or accepted before the name is gazetted for public comments, acceptance or rejection.”
Port Elizabeth International Airport could soon be called…
While changing the name of Port Elizabeth may be the biggest practical hurdle, the region’s renaming extends to the International Airport, too. Port Elizabeth International Airport was originally known as HF Verwoerd Airport and was renamed post-1994 to better reflect an inclusive, democratic society.
Now, Port Elizabeth International Airport is facing another name change. Here are the proposals tabled by the committee:
Sipho Hashe International Airport
Nelson Mandela Bay Airport
Raymond Mhlaba Airport
David Stuurman International Airport
The Khoi-San International Airport
Nelson Mandela Airport
Uitenhage could be known as Garden Town in the near future
Uitenhage, which lies to the north of Port Elizabeth, is also set for a designatory makeover. The committee has tabled the following options to locals attending the public hearings:
The renaming process is currently in an intermediary phase and has a lot of bureaucratic hoops to jump through before approved. Public hearings are set to continue until Wednesday, at which point findings will be delivered to the government for consideration.
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