Cape Town – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the outcome of public submissions for the renaming of Cape Town International Airport and other airports was still under consideration.
“A report on the renaming of airports is being considered by the Department of Transport, including the outcome of the public submission with respect to the renaming of Cape Town International Airport,” Mbalula said.
Mbalula was responding to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Nontando Nolutshungu.
Nolutshungu had asked Mbalula about the process of renaming Cape Town International Airport and the names that were being considered for renaming the airport.
She also wanted to know whether the minister had found that renaming the airport Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport would be supported.
There has been a big push, particularly by the EFF, to rename Cape Town International Airport after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Other names were put forward such as those of Struggle stalwarts Albertina Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani, Robert Sobukwe and Alex La Guma. Khoisan representatives have proposed the name of Khoisan translator Krotoa.
In his response, Mbalula said the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) had embarked on a project to rename Cape Town International Airport, East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport and Kimberley Airport.
Mbalula also said the renaming was in line with the South African Geographical Names Council Act and also part of the Transformation of Heritage Landscape Government Programme.
“According to the act, the minister of arts and culture is responsible for the approval of geographical names after receiving recommendations from the South African Geographical Names Council,” he said.
Mbalula also said Acsa had appointed an independent public participation consultant to facilitate a transparent public participation process.
“A report outlining the methodology undertaken in ensuring a transparent public participation process, as well as the outcome of proposals, has been submitted to the Department of Transport and is being considered by the department.”
The minister said the report entailed issuing an advert to be published in the print media and broadcast on radio to solicit name proposals, provide information on the public hearing event, how comments were collected and the results of the public input.
“The report also includes the process of renaming East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport and Kimberley Airport, which is facilitated by provinces and municipalities,” Mbalula said.