Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has said it won’t be threatened during the course of the airport renaming process, and slammed those who caused unrest and chaos during Monday evening’s public participation meeting.
ACSA recorded approximately 800 attendees and said that despite the disruptions, the meeting was ‘properly concluded’.
Cape Town International Airport spokesperson, Deirdre Davids told IOL that many attendees at the meeting cooperated and made their representations peacefully.
“There were others who appeared to have come with the specific intention to disrupt the meeting,” Davids said. “When the intention of the meeting was disregarded and when other attendees were threatened, it was imperative that ACSA protect the integrity of the consultation and the safety of those in attendance. The meeting was therefore declared closed until the disruptors had agreed to proceed in a more respectful manner.”
Chaos arose when verbal clashes broke out as members of the Khoi community, who support the name “Krotoa”, slammed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who wished to see the airport renamed after the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Members of the EFF and the Khoi community both agreed that the meeting was ‘poorly organised’.
ACSA added that the new airport name will not be influenced by threats or based on those who shouted the loudest. “Views expressed at consultation meetings do not constitute a binding vote on the name to be selected‚” the company said.
“The process of gathering public input on possible names for airports is an essential and prescribed element of the renaming process. Everyone has the right to be heard and ACSA will continue to ensure that all views on renaming of airports are taken into consideration.”
On Tuesday afternoon, former Lead SA Hero and Executive Director of Ubuntu Youth Development, Andile Ndevu told Cape Talk radio that other important figures in society also deserve to be considered in the airport renaming process.
These include those who are well recognised for their art, sports and cultural contributions to the country.
“We should not confine ourselves to the political names which are well-known when we rename the airport,” Ndevu said.
They can also be hand-delivered to the ACSA offices at the nearest airport.