More name changes announced for South Africa

Sport, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa has approved several new name changes for South Africa.

The changes, which were gazetted on Wednesday (16 March), primarily impact the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces, with towns, areas and settlements seeing their names changed.

Several other areas had new names officially registered in terms of the South African Geographical Names Council Act. The Eastern Cape provincial government is also considering additional name changes as part of a public consultation process.

The minister has previously said that the transformation of the naming landscape in South Africa is ‘a critical component of the heritage landscape as a whole’.

“There was a need for the name changes as this is part of a government programme to transform South Africa’s heritage landscape. The names of places we live in reflect the identity and cultural heritage of the people of South Africa,” he said.

The full list of name changes is detailed below.

Old name New name Geographical feature and area
Mount Fletcher Tlokoeng Town (Eastern Cape)
St Augustine Mahlubini Village (Eastern Cape)
Driehoek Uhlelo Area (Mpumalanga)
Donkerhoek eNtababusuku Area (Mpumalanga)
Allmansdrift Maphanga Settlement (Mpumalanga)

In February 2021, Mthethwa announced a number of name changes in the Eastern Cape which he said were for transformation purposes.

Some of the most notable changes included:

  • Port Elizabeth to Gqeberha;
  • Uitenhage to Kariega;
  • King Williamstown to Qonce;
  • East London Airport to  King Phalo Airport;
  • Port Elizabeth Airport to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport.

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