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Council still mulls over airport's name

By Mhlaba Memela | Jan 15, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE South African Geographical Names Council is still battling to come up with a name for the multimillion-rand airport at La Mercy to be used during the Soccer World Cup.

The international airport north of Durban still has no name while the council is continuing to receive submissions.

The council was expected to endorse the name King Shaka International Airport at a meeting in Durban yesterday.

The name was submitted by the KwaZulu-Natal government during hearings last year.

The R7billion airport is set to begin operating on May 1 this year.

Council chairperson Tommy Ntsewa said the process of naming the airport had not yet been finalised.

"It all depends on the quality of the submissions. But we have been assured that the necessary stakeholders have been consulted and all processes are in shape.

"We are hoping to finalise the naming process soon and make recommendations to the minister so that the airport can start operating by May 1.

"The airport must have a name, otherwise it will go off as airport X," he said.

Ntsewa said they did not want this to happen.

"But if we're forced to go that route we will have airport X in KwaZulu-Natal," he said.

The council was also expected to make a decision on the contentious proposal of renaming Louis Trichardt in Limpopo as Makhado.

Ntsewa said the submission was back on the council's agenda after the process was reversed in 2005 by the courts.

This was after it was discovered that there had been inadequate consultation.

"We have been assured by the provincial committee of Limpopo that the geographical names committee in the province had approached all stakeholders that had complained about lack of consultation," he said.

Ntsewa said they were looking forward to deliberating on that re-submission.

KwaZulu-Natal has a number of names with spelling mistakes that need to be corrected.

He said the names were misspelt by the colonial rulers.

"So we have language experts in the council to deal with this issue," said Ntsewa.


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