Gqeberha The New PE?


The renaming of Port Elizabeth to Gqeberha which was approved by sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday has caused a stir amongst South Africans as some had different views about the name change. Some have welcomed the change, but for some, it hasn’t come easy to pronounce.
This is what some of them had to say:

Nolundi Ntamesi, Gqeberha.

“The name sounds rude, I would’ve preferred Nelson Mandela Bay because the municipality is already named after him. Yes, we must conserve our history, but to some of us, it is like a distant memory because some of us don’t even know what Gqeberha is. It is said to be a river or something but Nelson Mandela Bay would’ve been better just like Mossel Bay and Richards Bay.”- Nolundi Ntamesi, Gqeberha.

Sakhekile Zonke, Grahamstown.

I feel absolutely nothing. I mean nothing will change as it never did before. If those name changes would be something that will bring jobs to the people or benefit the people then I will be more than happy for the change so all in all, it makes no difference”.- Sakhekile Zonke, Grahamstown.

Gary Bolton, East London

“I think I can pronounce it fairly well, but then that’s just my ears hearing it. I honestly don’t mind whatever the name is, because it’s the contents (the people in this case) that makes the product, not the name. I mean, it’s the ingredients that make the cake taste nice, not the name of the cake. I’m not fazed by it, the only concern could be the cost implications of changing signs with names and other things like stationary etc.”- Gary Bolton, EL

Samantha Long, East London

“The tourism industry has suffered enough and now has to deal with new names to cities and airports of the EC region. Most unwarranted in expenditure as I agree with Chantel King of the DA team, this will not improve the industry but become more harmful where the money could have been spent on something more productive. However, it is what it is. Very much struggling to pronounce the new names but as time goes we will survive and make nicknames- Samantha Long- Stirling.

Thando Bili, Gqeberha

“I am extremely humbled and encouraged that our areas and our forefathers are being recognized, however, I do not think the timing for these name changes is correct nor is appropriate now given the times of the pandemic. I further believe that other pressing matters could have been attended to and these names proposed and lived through by the people before being gazetted. As for Gqeberha, it will be very interesting to get the view for my fellow Walmer Township people, as our township has always been called Gqeberha”- Thando Bili, Gqeberha. Currently in Johannesburg

Compiled by: Siphokazi Naki