Cradock to become Kaladokhwe? 10 more Eastern Cape towns and landmarks could be renamed

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Local tourist stops for a picture along the R61 linking Karoo towns of Cradock and Graaf-Reinet.
Local tourist stops for a picture along the R61 linking Karoo towns of Cradock and Graaf-Reinet.
Malibongwe Dayimani
  • The historic Karoo town of Cradock's name could be changed to eNxuba or Kaladokhwe. 
  • ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe's hometown Cala, could be renamed Xhalanga. 
  • Colchester suburb, just 40 kilometres north of Gqeberha, could be changed to Nukukamma.

Ten more names of Eastern Cape places, including five towns, have been submitted to the Eastern Cape Provincial Geographical Names Committee (EPGNC) for renaming. 

The committee accepted and noted the applications for proposed name changes during its quarterly meeting on Thursday. 

Between February and September, the committee will crisscross five regions in the province holding stakeholder engagements and public consultations over the proposed names.

Stakeholders, including communities, will have the opportunity to support or object to the proposed name changes. 

LISTEN | How to pronounce Eastern Cape's new names - and why East London won't be joining the party ... yet

The Geographical Names Committee holds public hearings for proposals for new names of towns and landmarks, and then takes it to the South African Geographical Names Council.

The council advises Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on new geographical names and the changing of existing names. 

Deputy chairperson of the ECPGNC Zukile Jodwana said: "The committee implores stakeholders and members of the public to please take part in these consultations in their respective areas when called upon."


In the applications, it has been proposed that the historic Karoo town of Cradock be renamed Nxuba or Kaladokhwe. 

Kaladokhwe is an isiXhosa word distorted from the name Cradock, while Nxuba is the local name for the Great Fish River. 

It's proposed that Algoa Bay be renamed Nelson Mandela Bay. 

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe's hometown Cala, could be renamed Xhalanga.  

Colchester suburb, just 40km north of Gqeberha, could be changed to Nukukamma.

After completing stakeholder engagement sessions, the committee will begin public consultations in May 2022 in the areas of Buffalo City and Raymond Mhlaba (Amathole District), later followed by Nelson Mandela Metro and Chris Hani District Municipalities.

Other proposals are: 

The small town of Tarkastad be changed to eSkapu and Gompo suburb in East London be changed to Clement Kadalie. 

The renaming of the suburb Gompo is expected to pave the way for the long-standing proposal of the renaming of East London to Gompo. 

The process to change East London to Gompo hit a snag because duplication of names is not allowed. 

A portion of the N2 running into the town of Dutywa has been proposed to be named Ngumbela Road. 

Lobbyists want to honour the memory of late well-known businessman Mthetheleli Ngumbela who hails from the town. 

Ngumbela was philanthropist who contributed significantly to sport development in the Eastern Cape.   

He died in a car accident on the N2 between Dutywa and Butterworth on 13 October 2021, at the age of 81. 

A portion of Alice in the precinct of Fort Hare University, which is currently named Fort Hare, could be renamed Chief Maqoma. 

It's also proposed that Tylden, a village in the Chris Hani District municipality, be changed to Steve Biko; while Sterkstroom be named Ngquzubomvu. 

Jodwana said the motivations behind the proposed names include intentions to restore original terms of the places. 

READ | Eastern Cape name changes: 'The ANC has gone too far', says DA

He added that some applications cited the recommendations of the Truth Reconciliation Commission to rename certain geographical features after those who contributed to the struggle against apartheid. 

In February Mthethwa sparked a heated debate after he approved changes of seven Eastern Cape towns and two airports.

This saw Port Elizabeth being named Gqeberha, and King William's town changing to Qonce among other changes. 

Jodwana previously described name changes as an essential issue of restoring lost heritage. 

He said it should be viewed in the context of unjust processes committed against various groups, and to the extent that a language and people is disappearing based on the imposition of foreign names.

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