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It could take up to 12 months before Gqeberha appears on signage and other platforms

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It could at least take a year before Port Elizabeth's name change fully takes effect.

That's the word from Zukile Jodwana, the Deputy Chairperson for the Geographical Names Committee in the Eastern Cape.

On Tuesday, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthetwa approved several name changes in the Eastern Cape, including changing Port Elizabeth to Gqeberha.

Jodwana says they will now engage those affected by the name changes so that they can start planning for the next financial year and begin the process of incorporating the new name to be carried on signage boards and other platforms.

He says this process can take up to 12 months.

Minister Mthethwa also approved the renaming of the East London Airport which will now be known as  King Phalo Airport.

The Border Kei Chamber of Businesses Tourism Committee, however, says the costs associated with the name change of the Airport are unjustifiable.

Committee Chairperson Sandy Loppnow says the funds could have been spent on improving the city's infrastructure and to create new attractions for tourists.

Minister Mthetwa also approved the geographical name change for Uitenhage, which, according to the gazette, is now Kariega.

King William’s Town is now Qonce and Maclear was renamed Nqanqarhu.

The PE International Airport changed to the Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport, after the Khoi chief who was born near the Gamtoos River in circa 1773.

The changes followed an extensive consultation process with stakeholders and the public.

 

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