Premier wants ‘responsible’ name change for Eastern Cape

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane.
Image: Masi Losi

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane is committed to changing the name of the province, but wants to do it “responsibly”.

The premier has indicated that his administration would resuscitate the name change initiative, put on the table as far back as 2002, saying it was not a forgotten project, reported the Daily Dispatch.

Former premier Makhenkesi Stofile announced five Xhosa names, intended to be used alongside the English name, Eastern Cape, for the province during a Heritage Day event in 2002.

They included KwaXhosa (Xhosa land), KwaNtu (province of the people), Eastern Cape (untranslated in isiXhosa), Ekhaleni (aloe) and eNciba (Kei River), The Herald reported at the time.

Mabuyane made his intentions known in a speech at a Heritage Day event in Dutywa, reported the Daily Dispatch.

”During the state of the province address in February I will outline more on how the process will unfold and what shape it will take. But the fact is that we will have to resume the process that was started by Reverend Stofile to rename our province,” he said.

The initiative has drawn some criticism on social media, with a few commentators pointing out that the province had more pressing issues to tackle.

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