EC plans 19 name changes

Anyone with objections to the official renaming of Grahamstown to Makhanda or Peddie to Ngqushwa should write an objection to the provincial geographical names committee by next month. 

The Eastern Cape Provincial Geographical Names Committee (ECPGNC) this week issued notices calling on all concerned citizens to submit their comments on proposed name changes for various towns, rivers, roads and human settlements across the province.

According to the ECPGNC’s notice in the media this week, another small town likely to be renamed is Mount Fletcher, which could soon be known as Tlokoeng.

This can only be done however if no objections are raised against the proposed changes and if they are approved by the national geographical names committee.

The new names form part of 19 which members of the public recommended that they be changed to.

ECPGNC’s chairman Samkelo Janda could not be reached for comment at the time of writing yesterday.

However, according to the notice, the committee had conducted public hearings in areas around Alfred Nzo, Amathole, Joe Gqabi and Sarah Baartman districts between January and February.

It states that such proposals emanated from that process and that the public had until June 6 to make submissions on whether they supported them or not.

The committee has been instrumental in changing offensive names that are a reminder of the country’s colonial past.

The Daily Dispatch last month reported that Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa had given the go-ahead for five small Eastern Cape towns to change their names to their original African names.

In February, Mthethwa said it was all systems go for the Eastern Cape towns of Queenstown, Lady Frere, Mount Frere, Elliot and Mount Ayliff, to do away with their names which had colonial connotations.

Mthethwa said going forward, Queenstown would be known as Komani, Mount Frere would be renamed KwaBhaca, Elliot as Khowa, while Mount Ayliff would be eMaXesibeni.

Lady Frere has been renamed Cacadu.

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