The South African city of Port Elizabeth’s name has changed to Gqeberha, a Xhosa word used to refer to the Baakens River that flows through the city. Uitenhage, which forms part of the Nelson Mandela Metro, changes to Kariega.
It’s airport is called the Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport. The East London airport is now King Phalo Airport. ‘A petition titled “Keep the name Port Elizabeth” was circulated on social media and garnered about 26,000 signatures. However, the petition — despite the signatures — was counted as a single objection and rejected.
The decision to do away with colonial names was officially approved and gazetted by sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday.
Here are the new names for the areas that were changed by South Africa:
- Port Elizabeth was renamed Gqeberha
- Port Elizabeth airport was renamed Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport
- The East London airport was renamed King Phalo Airport
- Uitenhage Town was renamed Kariega
- King William’s Town was renamed Qonce
- Maclear is now Nqanqarhu