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NMB Mayor Bhanga: PE, Uitenhage name change processes weren’t inclusive

On Thursday, he will hold a media briefing to elaborate on concerns around the process followed to rename the two areas.

FILE: Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth. Picture: 123rf

JOHANNESBURG - Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Nqaba Bhanga on Tuesday said they were not opposed to name changes for Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage but wanted the process to be inclusive.

On Thursday, he will hold a media briefing to elaborate on concerns around the process followed to rename the two areas.

Last week, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa signed off on a decision to rename PE to Gqeberha and Uitenhage to Kariega, among other name changes.

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral spokesperson Morne Steyn said they questioned the processes followed in renaming Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.

“We don’t think the process was inclusive and covered the processes correctly.”

He said Bhanga had written to Minister Mthethwa and requested a meeting.

“The mayor and the Mayor’s Office is considering the course of action they will pursue in dealing with this matter going forward and we do intend on having a press briefing on Thursday where this will be unpacked in its entirety.”

Steyn said they believed not all public objections were noted: “We don’t think it was inclusive; I can give you examples of a petition of 26,000 signatures submitted that consider this as a disregard. The mayor wants this to be inclusive.”

WATCH: Gqeberha: Can you pronounce Port Elizabeth’s new name?

Bhanga has also argued the new names had no relation or connection to the people of the metro.

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