Two secondary airports – and one fairly big city – have official new names from Tuesday.
Arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa recognised the new names by publication in the Government Gazette, alongside a handful of registrations of existing geographic names, and some spelling corrections.
All the newly-named places are in the Eastern Cape, which saw a surge in interest in renaming in 2020.
The major new names are:
Port Elizabeth airport is now Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport
East London airport is now the King Phalo Airport
Port Elizabeth itself is now Gqeberha
Uitenhage is now Kariega
King William’s Town is now Qonce
Maclear is now Nqanqarhu
The plan to name the airport in East London after King Phalo drew criticism from a group of traditional leaders. They said it should be named after Chief Pato of AmaGqunukhwebe instead, because, they claimed, the land on which the airport is situated falls under the land of Pato, and not Phalo of AmaXhosa.
Renaming Port Elizabeth, which falls within the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and is often referred to as such, also met some initial opposition when it was proposed in 2020.