PE, airport, Uitenhage renamed?

2016-07-13 06:00

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THE Friendly City might have a new name by the end of the year.

Applications for the names of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and even Port Elizabeth airport to be changed, have been submitted to the Eastern Cape geographical names committee, Zukile Jodwana, a member of the committee, confirmed.

Among the suggestions for new names are Gqeberha for Port Elizabeth, and Garden Town or Qhagqiwa for Uitenhage. The Port Elizabeth International Airport could also be renamed the Sipho Hashe Airport.

These names will, however, not immediately appear on road signs and maps, Jodwana explained.

“This is a lengthy process and can take up to six months.

“We have received the application, but now we have to hold public meetings in the communities where residents can voice their opinions and air their grievances,” he said.

“Then we must make a recommendation to the national committee, which in turn must submit its recommendations to the Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.”

This process will only begin after the municipal elections of August 3, Jodwana said.

“With the municipal election around the corner, everyone will be occupied with it and we will not stand in the way of that.

“The public meetings will be arranged after the election.”

  • Gqeberha is the old name for Walmer from which the word Kabega was derived. Uitenhage was formerly known among isiXhosa speaking people as Qhagqiwa and Port Elizabeth as iBhayi and/or Cacadu.

Sipho Hashe was one of the PEBCO Three who along with Qaqawuli Godolozi and Champion Galela, were kidnapped at the Port Elizabeth Airport in 1985 by Apartheid-era security police after which they were murdered by them. 

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