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.
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.
Oh sorry, let’s ignore all the other 10 official languages and focus on names suitable for Roman’s tongue. Siyadelelwa straight la ???????? https://t.co/wgQdeCp0fu
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) February 24, 2021
— -.-̶̯͡»̶̥·̵̭̌✽ The Wolf of BellPepper Str (@motsepe_rems) February 24, 2021
These were some of the reactions on social media:
Some of the people claiming that they will never be able to pronounce 'Gqeberha' will without provocation announce that Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is the greatest musical composer of all time
— Ryan Cummings (@Pol_Sec_Analyst) February 24, 2021
Angithi wena uyi “patriotic South African” now show us ????
Habashwe! One by one ithi “Gqeberha” pic.twitter.com/p2df1K73Yy
— Aldrin Sampear (@AldrinSampear) February 24, 2021
If you break it down and say it repeatedly with your chest, and clicks on blast, Gqeberha is actually the most powerful name known to humanity!
— Hagen Engler (@HagenEngler) February 24, 2021
So our beautiful city Port Elizabeth is now supposed to be called Gqeberha. The jokes really don’t end pic.twitter.com/9EGnQCBTcq
— Bulelwa Makeke (@BulelwaMak) February 24, 2021
SA has Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark but Gqeberha is seemingly where some folks want to draw the line, and complain about the difficult pronunciation?
— Lonwabo (@lonwabo_mbuqwa) February 24, 2021
If amaXhosa can say 'Port Elizabeth' with ease, you, too, can learn to say Gqeberha. ✌️????
— Ottilia Anna MaSibanda (@MaS1banda) February 24, 2021
I think we can all agree that Gqeberha is not a nice name.
Were there no other Xhosa names? Even renaming Port Elizabeth to "Le Way" would've been fine with me.
— Jimmy Ramokgopa (@JimmyRamokgopa) February 24, 2021