Cape Town – The DA has opposed the Eastern Cape government’s plans to rename towns in the Buffalo City Metro Municipality, saying this would not improve the lives of the people in the area.
This comes after the provincial government’s proposal to change the names of East London to KuGompo, King William’s Town to Qonce, Berlin to Ntabozuko and East London Airport to King Phalo.
The DA in the Eastern Cape said the renaming of the Buffalo City Metro towns and the airport would not increase tourism, boost investment, improve service delivery, create employment nor would it eradicate the problems faced by residents on a daily basis.
“Instead of spending millions on new signage, the money should be used to improve the lives of the people of the Buffalo City Metro. Residents have been given 21 days to oppose or comment on the renaming of the three towns and the airport.
“We will not stand idly by and watch how millions of rands are wasted on frivolous name changes, money that can rather be used to improve the lives of residents,” the DA said.
In 2019, DA provincial leader in the Eastern Cape Nqaba Bhanga said they had objected to the Eastern Cape government’s renaming project, because the government would have to spend millions of rands to change the name while close to 40% of the province’s residents remained unemployed.
At the time, Bhanga said the province had the highest expanded rate of unemployment in the country, at 46.5%.
“This translates to more than 1.2 million people in the province who are without work. Countrywide more than 10 million people are now unemployed,” Bhanga said.
In 2017, the call for the ANC to hold discussions around the renaming of the country and the city of Durban was slammed as “senseless” and a waste of money by opposition party leaders in the city.
At the time, opposition parties in the city said the administration had lost track of the core issues it should be focusing on, because many people did not refer to Durban as “eThekwini” as the name was not globally more popular than “Durban”.