2 minute read
27 Feb 2021
5:05 am

Renaming SA’s cities is about regaining status


South Africa belongs to all of us and not being prepared to at least respect others by trying to pronounce names correctly is selfish.

People enjoying themselves at Brighton Beach in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). Picture: Lulama Zenzile

‘The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” The opening lines of LP Hartley’s 1953 novel, The Go-Between, are something all of us who live here in Africa, in the post-colonial age, would do well to consider. This week, there was outrage in some quarters about the announcement by Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa that the Eastern Cape’s biggest city, Port Elizabeth, would be renamed Gqeberha. The city’s airport will be renamed Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport, while Uitenhage will now be known as Kariega. Gqeberha is the isiXhosa name for the Walmer area of...