Xingwana approves 28 name changes

2010-02-02 11:38

ARTS and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana has approved proposed

changes to 28 geographical names, her department said in a statement


Changes of geographical names like Mafikeng to Mahikeng, in the

North West, and Piet Retief to eMkhondo, in Mpumalanga, were in line with the

South African Geographical Names Council Act, the department said.

“The standardisation of geographical names in South Africa is part

of the healing and reconciliation process, part of the process of redressing the

marginalisation of indigenous language, culture, and heritage.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended the renaming

of geographical features as a form of symbolic reparations to address South

Africa’s unjust past,” it said.

Other geographical names approved by the minister on the

recommendation of the South African Geographical Names Council include the

Century City station in Cape Town, and the Goliyadi, Kakholwane, Mandela,

Mbhucu, Mbube, Malati, Mkhingoma and Sbubule mountains in Mpumalanga.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the minister approved the changing of the names

of the villages Ntumeni to eNtumeni, Nyezane to eNyezane, Nyoni to eNyoni, and

Teza to eSitheza.

The La Mercy Airport, in KwaZulu-Natal, has been renamed King Shaka

International Airport.

“We all know that many of the existing names of our geographical

features are not reflective of our society and our quest for national


“Names standardisation is not an attempt to obliterate the history

of any section of our society. It seeks to contribute towards inclusivity and

participatory democracy that acknowledges our common heritage,” the department


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