Process to rename CT International Airport underway

Cape Town International Airport is one of four airports selected to have their names changed.

A general view of Cape Town International Airport. Picture:

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - A process to rename Cape Town International Airport is currently underway.

The initiative is part of the Transformation of Heritage Landscape government programme and in line with the South African Geographical Names Council Act of 1998.

Four possible names have already been put forward: Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Robert Sobukwe.

Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa)'s Deon Cloete says other suggestions are still being accepted.

“What we do as the custodian of the airport, we facilitate the process and allow for the right conversations to happen. Ultimately, we’ll compile a report and some of the conclusive and recommendations will flow from there. The process is underway.”

Cape Town International Airport is one of four airports selected to have their names changed.

LISTEN: What should CT International Airport be renamed?


Those who want to have the Cape Town International Airport renamed after late anti-apartheid struggle icon, Madikizela-Mandela or anybody else, now have the chance to help make it a reality.

Acsa has launched a campaign calling for public comments and proposals by 6 June, for the renaming of not only Cape Town’s airport, but also East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport and Kimberley Airport as well.

The Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa is responsible for the approval of geographical names after receiving recommendations from the South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC).

The SAGNC is responsible for geographical features of national concern including towns, cities, suburbs and any form of human settlement, post offices, stations, highways, airports and government dams.

At Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral in April, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema called on the government to honour the “mother of the nation” by renaming Cape Town International Airport after her.

The EFF has, of late, been on a strong social media drive calling on the public to email proposals in favour of renaming the airport after Madikizela-Mandela.


Proposals and comments should be sent to Acsa by close of business on Wednesday 6 June 2018. You can email them to or hand-deliver to an Acsa office at your nearest airport.

An application will be made to the relevant Geographical Names Provincial Committee for processing by Acsa.

These committees will verify that the applications comply with the guidelines in the national Handbook on Geographical Names.

The provincial committees will then forward the applications to the SAGNC. The council will take a decision on the form or forms of names and recommend them for the Minister of Arts and Culture’s approval.

Once the names have been approved by the minister, they will be published in the Government Gazette. A period of 30 days is required for any objections to be submitted in response to the Gazette.

Should any objections be received, the minister will assess them before a final decision is published in the Gazette.

The Department of Transport and Acsa will then implement the official names as soon as possible.