Formerly Port Elizabeth, now Gqeberha.
- The proposed name for East London – Gompo – was rejected on the basis that there was already a township named Gompo.
- The Eastern Cape Geographical Names Committee defended its decision to approve the name Gqeberha for Port Elizabeth, despite the fact that there was a Gqeberha High School in the city.
- The committee said a school is not a human settlement, hence the name was approved.
The Eastern Cape Geographical Names Committee defended its decision to approve the name Gqeberha for Port Elizabeth, despite the fact that, at the time of the proposal, there was a Gqeberha High School in the same city.
The committee previously said the proposed name for East London – Gompo, was rejected because there is a township in East London named Gompo.
The committee told News24 it was unlawful to have one name for two features – and that the proposed name for East London was rejected on the basis that it was a duplication.
But, on Tuesday, provincial Geographical Names Committee deputy chairperson Zukile Jodwana said a town and a school were different.
“The principle is that one feature, one name, but a school does not constitute a geographical feature. There is no duplication in this case because the school is not a human settlement. For instance, you can have a Nelson Mandela Village next to a Nelson Mandela Bridge. Those are two different features,” said Jodwana.
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 for consideration.
The council advises Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa on new geographical names as well as the changing of existing geographical names.
Jodwana said it was also acceptable to name a school after a geographical feature.
Due to the dwindling number of pupils, Gqeberha High School recently closed its doors and the building was looted to the ground, said Jodwana.
On Monday, more than 48 000 people had signed an online petition for the name of the coastal town to remain Port Elizabeth.
Last week, in a government gazette, Mthethwa changed the names of seven Eastern Cape towns and two airports.
The full name changes are as follows:
• Port Elizabeth Airport – King Dawid Stuurman
• Port Elizabeth – Gqeberha
• East London Airport – King Phalo Airport
• King William’s Town – Qonce
• Uitenhage – Kariega
• Maclear – Nqanqarhu
• Katkop – Ngqayi
• Mfabantu – Khohlombeni
• Berlin – Ntabozuko
Published at Tue, 02 Mar 2021 21:24:35 +0000