fbpx

Eastern Cape name change fiasco—Analyst discusses relevance thereof

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, Name Changes, Newcastillian - Online News
Other prominent changes include Uitenhage's name being amended to Kariega and Port Elizabeth Airport to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport. While highlighting names changes, the gazette also includes spelling corrections for existing geographical names and official registrations of new names.

In a Government Gazette published on Tuesday, 23 February 2021, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthetwa, announced numerous name changes to cities, towns, and airports situated in the Eastern Cape—with the most notable being that of Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha).

Other prominent changes include Uitenhage’s name being amended to Kariega and Port Elizabeth Airport to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport. While highlighting names changes, the gazette also includes spelling corrections for existing geographical names and official registrations of new names.

When looking at the situation, one cannot help but wonder about the goal versus the costs involved. Also, can KwaZulu-Natal expect similar changes to be made to our cities, airports and beloved towns?

Political analyst Xolani Dube explains the recent developments are not about the costs involved. Instead, it is about something much more profound and meaningful. “When you look at African nations, postcolonialism, name changes play an essential role in restoring the dignity of the natives of the area.”

He stresses this is especially important when looking at the past atrocities and how people suffered under the previous regimes.

However, he points out this does not mean an egocentric motive is not behind the current name changes. “I feel more focus should go into social cohesion, employment and the economy.” After all, as Dube highlights, what is the purpose of re-naming major cities and landmarks when people are still struggling and facing the same challenges they faced under apartheid and colonialism?

He adds, “We first need to exhaust our efforts in education, social cohesion and economic development before looking at name changes.”

As for possible name changes in KZN, Dube points out that before the Government even considers it, they need to focus on what is important for the country and province. “If you look at Pietermaritzburg, it is overcrowded, while other areas in KZN are becoming ghost towns.”

With this in mind, Dube elucidates, while he feels name changes do play an essential role in regaining one’s culture, our country’s people’s very livelihood is more relevant. “What is in a name, if we are still struggling?”

What are your thoughts on the matter? Share your views with us in the comment section below.

SHARE:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on reddit
Share on print

3 Responses

  1. Name changes are exclusively to eliminate and get rid of everything the WHITE people have done. It has nothing to do with “culture”. Just another way of destroying the old, and waste and steal monies for a useless “cause”. Just another racist ploy.

  2. “When you look at African nations, postcolonialism, name changes play an essential role in restoring the dignity of the natives of the area. He stresses this is especially important when looking at the past atrocities and how people suffered under the previous regimes.”

    Why use the money for changing of names to restore dignity rather than to restore the people livelihoods and uplift the economy and offer them proper homes and basic services which will most probably uplift their dignity much more.

  3. Name changes are useless when it comes to changing the chaotic state of this once thriving country. They are an utter waste of money as businesses have to change letterheads and official documents etc etc. Even info on Google has to be updated. Besides being totally confusing to people and even the people living in those areas. Just think of how many government documents have to be changed. Even the post code books and telephone directories and literally thousands and thousands of other seemingly unimportant business directories, maps, and so on.
    First and foremost, worry about Now, not the Past. Nobody can change what has been and gone, but we can change the Now, the Present, by attending to the important things. Food for the hungry. Jobs, however menial, to bring hope to the unemployed. Health care for the sick, shelter for the homeless…. the list is endless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for something?
Use the search box below

FIND US
on Social Media

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter

Follow us on Facebook