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Kimberley Airport will be renamed

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Originally named after BJ Voster, a far-right Nationalist politician, a decision was taken by the then Kimberley City Council 25 years ago to support the proposed renaming of the airport to the Kimberley Airport.

The Kimberley Airport could soon be renamed the Ulysses Gogi Modise Airport. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The renaming of the Kimberley Airport is on the cards.

This is according to a response by the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, following a parliamentary question by the EFF’s Nontando Nolutshungu.

“The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) embarked on a project to rename the following airports: Cape Town International Airport, East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport and Kimberley Airport,” Mbalula said in his reply.

“This is in line with the South African Geographical Names Council Act of 1998 and is 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 (SAGNC). The SAGNC is only responsible for geographical features of national concern including, but not limited to, towns/cities, suburbs and any form of human settlement, post offices, stations, highways, airports and government dams. SAGNC is also responsible for natural landforms like mountains, hills, rivers, streams, bays, headlands and islands.”

Mbalula added that ACSA had appointed an independent public participation consultant to facilitate a transparent public participation process in terms of the renaming of the Cape Town Airport.

“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 report entails amongst others, the issuance of an advert in the print media and radio broadcasts to solicit name proposals, 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 territories.”

Originally named after BJ Voster, a far-right Nationalist politician who served as Prime Minister (1966-78) and President(1978-79) of South Africa, a decision was taken by the then Kimberley City Council 25 years ago to support the proposed renaming of the airport to the Kimberley Airport.

This was after the mayor at the time, Herbert Rose, received a letter from the Minister of Transport, Mac Maharaj, informing him of his department’s intention to rename State airports.