Name changes back on table
Durban - The controversial changing of the name of the northern Limpopo town of Louis Trichardt to Makhado is back on the table, the Geographical Names Council said in Durban on Thursday.
“Today we have submissions that we have to look at. We will make submissions to the minister of arts and culture,” council chairperson Tommy Ntsewa told media in Durban.
The name Louis Trichardt was changed to Makhado in 2002 but in 2005 it changed back to Louis Trichardt after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled there was no proper consultation when the name was changed.
The court ruling forced the Limpopo provincial government back to the drawing board.
“The court ruled that there was no proper consultation when the whole process was done. Today we have new submissions. We will check if consultation was done,” said Ntsewa.
After scrutinising the new submissions, the council would prepare its submissions which would be forwarded to the minister of arts and culture Lulu Xingwana, he said.
“We are correcting what the court raised,” said Ntsewa.
The council was holding its first quarterly meetings in Durban on Thursday.
New airport name
Ntsewa said the council would also look at submissions for the name of the new international airport in La Mercy near Durban.
The KwaZulu-Natal government proposed the airport be named King Shaka International Airport.
“We will be considering submissions on the name of the new airport. We have been assured there has been proper consultation,” he said.
Ntsewa said it was expected that the name would be approved on Thursday.
“We are racing against time because the airport has to have a name as it will open very soon. If the issue of the name is not resolved, the airport will be known as the X airport,” Ntsewa joked.
The new airport would start operating on May 2 this year and the Durban International Airport would be decommissioned after the World Cup which would take place in less than 200 days.
The Durban International Airport would be part of a contingency plan to handle the influx of visitors during the first World Cup in Africa.
The council was waiting for Xingwana to make a pronouncement on the issue of changing Pretoria to Tshwane, said Ntsewa.
“The council had a meeting in Bloemfontein in 2005 and made a recommendation to the minister to approve the Tshwane name. We are expecting the new minister to make the pronouncement,” he said.
Ntsewa said the council was trying to correct names spelt incorrectly or changed during the 350 years of colonial and apartheid administrations.
The names of 19 misspelt rivers and areas around Durban were also expected to be corrected.
The city recently approved recommendations by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Geographic Names Committee to correct the spelling of some rivers and settlements in the eThekwini municipal area.
Inanda will be changed to eNanda, uMgeni River to uMngeni, Amanzimtoti to eManzamtoti, Umhlanga to uMhlanga Rocks, Umlazi to eMlaza, Umhlali to eMhlali and Tongaat to oThongathi.