Minister of Arts approves 28 name changes in SA

Lulu Vingwana
Lulu Vingwana

MINISTER of Arts and Culture Lulu Xingwana yesterday announced 28 geographical name changes including that of Durban's King Shaka International Airport.

The airport was known by its colonial name, La Mercy Airport.

She made the approval on the recommendation of the South African Geographical Names Council.

However, the name change of Pretoria to Tshwane has been delayed.

Xingwana, pictured, said in a statement that due to technical matters identified late last week, she has retracted the registration of Tshwane.

Xingwana said: "The Ministry has instructed that more work be done by officials on this matter. Names standardisation is part of the broad reconciliation and social cohesion process.

"The standardisation of geographical names in South Africa is part of the healing and reconciliation process within the broader context of social transformation.

"The Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended the re-naming of geographical features as a form of symbolic reparations to address South Africa's unjust past.

"We all know that many of the existing names of our geographical features are not reflective of our society and our quest for national unity."

She said names standardisation was not an attempt to obliterate the history of any section of our society.

The new names are, among others: Century City Station (a railway station in Cape Town); eMkhondo (Piet Retief town in Mpumalanga); eNtumeni (correction of spelling from Ntumeni, a village, in KwaZulu-Natal); eNyezane (correction of spelling from Nyezane in KZN); eNyoni (correction of spelling from Nyoni in KZN); Kalomboma River in Mpumalanga; Kakholwane Mountain in Mpumalanga; Kamagugu township in Mpumalanga; and Magadze River in Mpumalanga.