Name airport after Mandela before Mthatha does

DEAR Mr Mayor,

Firstly, it is great to know that you are still around. The reason that I say that is because most of the time, it does seem as if this city of ours is rudderless and without anybody who knows where it is going.

To me, it is a city whose leadership is out of touch with reality, or especially of what it is. I mention this specifically with regard to the fact that the greater city is supposed to be known as Nelson Mandela Bay.

You however wish to change the name of the airport from Port Elizabeth “International” (sic), of which PE is one city within Nelson Mandela Bay, to that of Sipho Hashe “International” (sic) Airport (“Airport name change plan gathers steam”, February 28). This apparently after someone wrote a letter to you requesting the name change.

Sir, I am writing a letter to you to ask you publicly to leave the name as is or rename the airport after the bay. With all respect to Hashe and his fallen comrades, Nelson Mandela “International” (sic) Airport does sound a lot better and does make a lot more sense.

Not only is it more relevant, but it is also more well known. Just about everybody in the world can connect with Madiba, not too many people, other than from Nelson Mandela Bay, can connect with Hashe.

Also, did you actually bother to do your research? If we do not do this now then the Mthatha airport will be renamed the Nelson Mandela Airport.

What kind of confusion is that? Nelson Mandela Airport will not be in Nelson Mandela Bay, but in Mthatha!

That is the will of your all-knowing and, in honesty not farsighted, Geographical Name Changing Committee.

Somehow, it seems as if somebody did not give this name change too much thought.

To me, it is just logical for the city to cement its name in the record books by naming its airport after the greatest statesman of our times and by doing so, further cement ourselves in tourism books and therefore reap the rewards associated with that. Or, we can do what you and your council do best, that being to wake up just before the elections and spend more money on name changes and T-shirts than you do on ridding our township citizens of degrading bucket toilets.

Perhaps, before people riot again, they should rather enforce bucket toilets for your chambers?

Let us hope that sanity will prevail. Till then I am going to submit my own form to the Geographical Name Changes Committee.

If anybody else wishes to do the same, I have sent the forms to The Herald team.

Ed Gutsche, Port Elizabeth

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