Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Cape Town airport name change on the cards

Transport minister Blade Nzimande has said that he believes the airport should "be named after one of our liberation icons who fought tirelessly against white supremacy and apartheid".

"Cape Town International Airport must be renamed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport to honor her for all her sacrifices, hardships and torture she endured for all South Africans to end Apartheid, a crime against humanity".

At maWinnie's funeral at the Orlando Stadium at the weekend, EFF leader Julius Malema ended his speech with a call on the ANC to name the airport after her. Malema said if the ANC was serious about honouring maWinnie and her legacy, then they would name the mother city's airport after her.

Diko said renaming an airport was a "grand gesture" that both Mandela and Madikizela-Mandela were worthy of.

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Some travellers like the idea of the airport being renamed but have varying views on which struggle icon's name should grace the port of entry. According to Eyewitness News (EWN), plans are in place to change the name of the airport and Madikizela-Mandela's name is among those submitted as candidates. "The airport has domestic and global terminals, linked by a common central terminal". Among these suggestions, Capetonians named Zainunnisa "Cissie" Gool and Dulcie September.

The transport ministry and the national department of arts and culture are still in the consultation phase of the process, but Nzimande has said he hopes to finalise the name soon.

According to Nzimande, Government will work to ensure that the consultation process is sped up and concluded within the next few months.

Malema's challenge to government was welcomed by many, causing a great deal of excitement which went as far as the airport's Wikipedia page being edited to reflect his call. The number of passengers passing through the airport has also grown by 22% in the past year, according to the airport spokesperson Deidre Davids.

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