Ricochet News

DA opposes name change for Port Elizabeth

Mar 9, 2020
DA opposes name change for Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth - The economy of Nelson Mandela Bay needs a new government and not a new name, the Democratic Alliance says.

"The recommendation by the Eastern Cape Geographical Names Committee (ECGNC) to change the name of Port Elizabeth to Gqeberha must be strongly opposed by the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa," Renaldo Gouws Cllr - DA NMB Spokesperson for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture.

"I have written to the DA’s Shadow Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Tsepo Mhlongo, MP, to take this matter up with Minister Mthethwa and request him to urgently intervene.

"Port Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela Bay as a whole is facing its worst drought on record, Day Zero is around the corner, infrastructure is crumbling and service delivery is non-existent."

Gouws said that South Africa is also in a technical recession, but still the ECGNC decided to forge ahead with recommending the name change.

"Tourism is one of the biggest contributors to Port Elizabeth’s economy and a name change will negatively impact on this.

"The negative impact of businesses having to change their signage and stationery would also be an unnecessary burden on the economy," he added.

"The DA believes that the committee is participating in a box-ticking exercise to justify its existence and is not taking the economic impact of the name change into account.

"While the DA governed in NMB the City was financially liquid with over R2 billion in the bank, the number of annual jobs created by the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) trippled and unemployment showed a slight downward curve.

"Red tape was removed to make it easier to do business in the City and more cruise liners docked in Port Elizabeth than ever before."

Gouws said that in 2017 Nelson Mandela Bay also grew to be the second most trusted metro in the country and this instilled business confidence.

"Under the current coalition of corruption government NMB is now the second least trusted metro and finds itself in financial ruin," he described.

"Renaming the City will not increase tourism, boost investment, improve service delivery or eradicate the problems residents face on a daily basis. Instead of spending millions on new signage, let’s use the money to improve the lives of the citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay."

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