It’s official, the name Port Elizabeth is no more. The city and its airport were recently renamed, and these changes were announced in the Government Gazette by Sports, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday.
Gqeberha,the new name, is a tongue-twister that many people have been asking themselves how to pronounce.
This process of renaming PE, also known in IsiXhosa as “Ibhayi”, had been dragging for the last 2 years, with many submissions and objections.
Unathi shares the correct pronunciation of the new names on Kaya Midday Joy
Listen to the conversation here:
Interestingly, the name’s origin is familiar with the city’s residents. Gqeberha is the IsiXhosa word for the Baakens River and is also the original name for one of PE’s oldest locations, Walmer Township.
Tweeps have been posting videos of their first attempt at pronouncing Gqeberha:
— South African Traveller (@African_Odyzzee) February 24, 2021
Reminds me of ?????? pic.twitter.com/Jr6v469MkM
— SamuraiEmmah (@EmmahSamurai) February 24, 2021
What else is changing?
The Eastern Cape government has made a few more changes to geographical names in the province. Last year they changed Grahamstown to Makhanda. Recent changes include the town of Uitenhage, which is now Kariega. Port Elizabeth Airport will now be known as Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport, while East London Airport is changing to King Phalo Airport. King William’s Town is now known as Qonce, and Maclear is now Nqanqarhu.
Read the Government Gazette here: