Port Elizabeth officially called Gqeberha after minister approves name change

Gqeberha is the isiXhosa name for Walmer Township, one of the first and oldest Port Elizabeth townships.

FILE: A view over Port Elizabeth or Gqeberha, as the city is now known, harbour from Donkin Reserve. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The city Port Elizabeth as you know it is changing its name to Gqeberha.

The decision was officially approved and gazetted by Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday.

The new name was submitted by Boy Lamani of KwaMagxaki, who said that Gqeberha was the isiXhosa name for Walmer Township, one of the first and oldest Port Elizabeth townships.

In 2020, Mthethwa recommended an audit of offensive names, symbols and structures, such as statues, street names, public spaces, etc.

He said that it was unacceptable that South Africa’s Black majority population is still a cultural minority when it comes to apartheid and colonial symbols still dominating the landscape.

Other major name changes will see the town of Uitenhage changed to Kariega, while the Port Elizabeth Airport will now be known as Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport.

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