Council Chair unpacks geographical renaming process

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The Department of Transport has confirmed that various names of late struggle stalwarts are being considered ahead of the renaming of Cape Town International Airport.

The names include former President Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Robert Sobukwe.

EFF leader Julius Malema has called for the airport to be renamed specifically after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Other name considerations are under way and a decision has not yet been reached as to what name the airport will have.

The South Africa Geographical Names Council is in charge of the renaming process. Chairperson of the council Johnny Mohlala says that the order of the Council is to facilitate what he calls the standardization of geographical names.

“Standardization means that we have to look at the correction of names, vulgarized names, offensive names, and wrongly spelled names,” Mohlala said.

Mohlala also explained how someone could submit a request for a geographical feature to be renamed.

“Any person who wants any feature to be named or renamed has to fill out an application form. Airports (however) are in the domain of Airports Company South Africa, which falls under the Department of Transport. A process will then ensue at that level. Once it has been completed, it will then be deposited with us for consideration.”

The South Africa Geographical Names Council holds meetings to determine which names to consider for different geographical features and which names to throw out, however airports are a special case since they are under the domain of Acsa.

The process could be concluded by the end of the year and will involve multiple agencies chiming in on the matter.

For more on the interview with Johnny Mohala and airport renaming, watch below.