Question NW638 to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

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19 March 2021 - NW638

Profile picture: Denner, Ms H

Denner, Ms H to ask the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

With reference to the name changes of Port Elizabeth to Gqeberha, King William’s Town to Qonce, Uitenhage to Kariega and MaClear Town to Nqanqarhu, what (a) total number of representations and/or comments were received by (i) the Geographical Name Change Committee tasked with the name change process and (ii) his Office following the advertisements of the name changes as required by legislation during the different stages of the process, (b) number of the specified comments were (i) in favour of and (ii) against the specified changes and (c) are the reasons that the comments against the name changes were not taken into account?


(1) The Eastern Cape Provincial Geographical Names Committee conducted public hearings as followings:

  1. Raymond Mhlaba Sport Centre on 13 November 2018
  2. Port Elizabeth City Hall 14 November 2018
  3. Uitenhage Town Hall 20 November 2018
  4. Chatty Community Hall 21 November 2018
  5. Nangoza Jebe Hall 22 November 2018
  6. Maclear Town Hall 27 February 2019
  7. King Williamstown Town Hall 19 November 2019
  8. Berlin Town Hall 21 November 2019
  9. East London City Hall 26 November 2019.

During these public consultations the name Nelson Mandela and Bhayi were also proposed for Port Elizabeth. However, the name Bhayi was disqualified as it was argued that it was just a translation of the word Baai. The name Nelson Mandela was disqualified as it was argued that it was overused in South Africa and the President Mandela never resided in the city. The counting of objections was never carried out as the sessions were not treated as referenda.

(1 and 11) The department has received twelve objections at the time this reply was being written from the public following the gazetting of the name changes on the 22nd of February 2021.

(b) on the number of comments for and against the name change. Section 10 of the South African Geographical Names Act 118 of 1998 provides for objections to the gazetted names but not for those who support the name changes hence no details of those who support the name changes were collected.

(c) As stated above the reasons given for the disqualification of the name Nelson Mandela was that the name was overused in South Africa and that President Mandela never lived in Port Elizabeth. The name Bhayi was disqualified because it was argued that the name Bhayi is a translation of the Afrikaans word Baai referring to any bay.


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