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Meaningless Name "Gqeberha" Will Not be Accepted by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality

Earlier this year the Ministry of Sports Arts and culture, under the leadership of Minister Nathi Mthethwa made a suggestion of the name change for Port Elizabeth City to "Gqeberha." This name change has sparked controversies among the local residents of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality. It has been revealed that the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality are prepared to make a formal submission to the Minister of Arts and Culture on Tuesday as they will not accept the names proposed by his ministry.

Nqaba Bhanga who is the mayor of the Nelson Mandela Municipality facilitated a meeting at their local City Hall on Monday evening, and there were various stakeholders who are believed to have been at the meeting, and the agenda of this meeting was specifically about the name change suggestions that have been proposed by Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

The Mayor has called for the name change process to be reopened. According to reports it is understood that there have been over 66 000 complaints from the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, Mr Bhanga also revealed that reactions that have come forward to them are not mainly from one specific race, they come from diverse people and from different communities from the municipality. When speaking to the media, Mayor Nqaba Bhanga said, "it became a conversation across the board and as we move forward as a country it should be a conversation representing all people of South Africa."

The naming process has been objected by most people, and one famous political commentator by the name of Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana indicated that the naming process was inadequate in that those who attended the public participation meetings shouldn't really be considered as representatives of communities as there has not been a sufficient number of people who had attended those public participation meetings.

The argument that Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana is making is that in the 1.4 million populated city, only 393 people had been counted in what is supposed to be a public participation meeting. When he commented he indicated that these figures on their own do not give a meaning of what is supposed to be a representative. There has also been a submission that was mentioned in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality that, perhaps historical names may also need to be restored in their linguistic form.

The argument from the municipality has also highlighted at the fact that the Minister has given a name change that they claim it is Xhosa, and they themselves know no meaning or origin of this name. Since this is still an ongoing issue, one of the most notable names that the City could support and come up with is the name of Nelson Mandela, the municipality has previously come up with the plan to rename the City as Nelson Mandela City, since the city has been branded by the former president's name.

(Source: Sowetan)

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Bhanga Ministry of Sports Nathi Mthethwa Nelson Mandela Bay Nqaba Bhanga

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