By Irshaad Gangat
Two airports have official new names from February 23.
The Arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa recognised the new names by publication in the Government Gazette.
All the newly-named places are in the Eastern Cape.
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 falls under the land of Pato, and not Phalo of the AmaXhosa.