Deadline looming for participation in renaming of airports

Public have until midnight to submit comments, proposals

The deadline for public comments and proposals for the renaming of Port Elizabeth International Airport draws to a close at midnight on Wednesday.

The Port Elizabeth airport is one of four around the country that could soon be renamed as part of the Department of Arts and Culture's Heritage Promotion and Preservation Programme.

The other three are Cape Town International Airport, East London Airport and Kimberley Airport.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been actively calling for Cape Town International to be renamed after anti-apartheid stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who passed away on April 2 this year.

But not everyone agreed with the EFF’s proposal at a chaotic public meeting on Monday evening, which had been described as “quite hectic and disruptive" by Cape Town International Airport general manager Deon Cloete.

Stellenbosch University law graduate Christina Pitt was present at the meeting and tweeted the following: 

Other proposals that were put forward were Krotoa International Airport, after the historic Khoi figure and Taliep Petersen, a well-known Cape Town musician and composer who was, at the behest of his wife, murdered in December 2006.  

The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) said submissions could be e-mailed to or hand-delivered to an Acsa office at one's nearest airport.

An application will then be made to the relevant provincial geographical names committees  for processing.

These committees are tasked with verifying that the applications comply with the guidelines in the national Handbook on Geographical Names, which will include checking that the name is not offensive or a duplication of an existing one.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa will make the final decision on the names which will then be published in the Government Gazette.

The new names will be implemented by the Department of Transport and Acsa.