The Eastern Cape’s provincial government is considering instating official name changes in several town in the province. This forms part of a programme that aims to transform South Africa’s geographic landscape into one that it more representative of all that live here.
As such, the metropolis of East London’s name may change to KuGompo.
Other proposed name changes include the following:
– Berlin being renamed to Ntabozuko
– East London Airport being renamed to King Phalo Airport
– King William’s Town being renamed to Qonce
As reported by BusinessTech, Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said it is standard practice to change the names of places that are not in line with the country’s Constitution.
“It is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that recommended that the renaming of geographic features be a form of ‘symbolic reparation’ to address an unjust past,” he said. “These reparations include changing the names of geographical places. Surely we cannot prove ourselves committed (as government) to fully achieve these reparations if we retain names such as Grahamstown – named after Colonel John Graham – whose name is captured in history as being the most brutal and the most vicious of the British commanders on that frontier.”
In 2018, the name of Eastern Cape town Grahamstown was officially changed to Makhanda, and this forms part of the same initiative. Makhanda, also known as Nxele, was a Xhosa warrior, prophet, philosopher and military man who fought in the battle against collonialism in the 19th century. He led an attack against the British garrison in Grahamstown in 1819.