Today the DA launches its national online petition to object against the gazetted name changes of Port Elizabeth to Gqeberha, and Uitenhage to Kariega. Please click here to access the petition.
There is a distinct lack of transparency on how the ANC government and the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, arrived at approving these names. We believe the public participation process was steamrollered through by the ANC and that most people were kept in the dark regarding the proposed names.
The DA stands with Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor, DA Cllr Nqaba Bhanga, in stating that we are not against name changes, but the processes followed must be inclusive and reflect our constitutional commitment to reconciliation.
The names Gqeberha and Kariega have very little historical meaning, will cost the government millions of rands to implement, have a far-reaching effect on the economy, and do not promote unity or transformation.
Mayor Bhanga has also stated that he believes the new name of Gqeberha is not inclusive and, in fact, has no isiXhosa meaning.
The people of the Eastern Cape are living in poverty and have been hard it by the Covid-19 pandemic. The province has the highest unemployment rate in the country. Spending millions of rands on name changes is a slap in the face of our people.
Minister Mthethwa and the ANC government would have the people of Nelson Mandela Bay believe that the name changes, as published in the Government Gazette on 23 February 2021, are set in stone.
The law, however, is clear that complaints can be lodged in writing to the Minister within in 30 days of the name changes being gazetted.
The DA will not give up the fight and will ensure that this petition is delivered to the offices of not only Minister Mthethwa, but also President Cyril Ramaphosa before the 30-day grace period runs out.
We call on the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay to support the DA’s effort to ensure a transparent and inclusive name change process that will unite everyone who calls the Metro home.
Together we can take Nelson Mandela Bay forward again!
Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.