Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mtethwa recently confirmed in a government gazette the official change of Port Elizabeth International Airport's name to Chief Dawin Stuurman International Airport. Further, Port Elizabeth is now Gqeberha.
The news has been met with different reactions, as expected; some people are excited about the name changes, some are curious as to how to pronounce Gqeberha, and a few are not pleased.
In a report by News24, the DA recently said it submitted written parliamentary questions to the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture regarding the name changes, focusing on the cost and public participation process followed prior to the changing of names of cities, towns, and airports in the province. DA spokesperson Veronica van Dyk said it was important to question whether the public, especially those residing in those towns and cities, were given adequate and reasonable time to make their voices heard on the issue.
The report goes on to say that the process leading up to the name change has not been unanimous, as it was met with a fair amount of resistance. City Press reported in September last year that the proposed renaming of the East London Airport to King Phalo Airport had been met with resistance by some traditional leaders in Eastern Cape, because they claimed the land on which the airport is situated belonged to a different chief.