Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
24 Feb 2021
12:20 pm

Gqeberha divides social media as some complain of pronunciation

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Port Elizabeth will now be known as Gqeberha, a Xhosa word used to refer to the Baakens River that flows through the city.

Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). Picture: Facebook

South Africans have taken to social media to voice their opinion on the new Port Elizabeth name change.

This after Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa gazetted new names for Port Elizabeth and two airports in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.

The Port Elizabeth Airport has been renamed to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport and Port Elizabeth will now be known as Gqeberha, a Xhosa word used to refer to the Baakens River that flows through the city.

Uitenhage has been renamed to Kariega, while the East London Airport is now known as the King Phalo Airport.

King Williams Town is now known as Qonce.

Gqeberha has been trending on social media as South Africans question the logic of renaming the city while the province has many service delivery issues.

Some have, however, defended the name change and said it was important for restoring the dignity of black South Africans.

READ MORE: Eastern Cape govt seek to reverse apartheid spatial planning

Twitter user @studdybear71 commented: So how has life changed now that you are living in Gqeberha? Is service delivery finally functioning well? Is there no more water crisis, schools functioning with a 100% pass mark, potholes, great public transport and medical? A name change makes all the difference.”

But Vince_Mjoli argued: “Izibhanxa [fools] going ‘why change the name when you could fix infrastructure and water etc’. You all know the costs for the name change will come from the Department of Arts and Culture right? They got no business fixing roads and schools, there are separate departments for that.”

This as some complain about the pronunciation.


These were some of the reactions on social media:

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