Port Elizabeth has a new name — Gqeberha. East London airport is now the King Phalo Airport and King William’s Town is now Qonce.
The decision was officially approved and gazetted by sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday.
Other major name changes will see the town of Uitenhage changed to Kariega, while the Port Elizabeth Airport will now be known as Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport.
The name change issue had been dragging on for about two years, with residents submitting hundreds of objections to what were then proposals. When the recommendation by the Eastern Cape Geographical Names committee that Port Elizabeth be renamed Gqeberha was first mooted, it caused an uproar among residents.
A petition titled “Keep the name Port Elizabeth” was circulated on social media and garnered about 26,000 signatures.
However, the petition — despite the signatures — was counted as a single objection.