Munier has no qualms with renaming things and places, in honour of our legacy and heroes. Celebrating certain political figures is bound to cause divisions somewhere, but the universal rule, as they say, is “to the victors go the spoils”.
The way the process of renaming Cape Town International Airport is being handled, however, has been a fiasco.
Firstly, it’s ridiculous that the airport’s name is being changed for the second time in just 24 years.
When DF Malan Airport was scrapped (named after Suid-Afrika’s first National Party prime minister), they should have gone for one name and stuck with it.
There’s nothing wrong with Cape Town International, other than it lacking a bit of personality and local flavour.
It’s geographically accurate and everyone around the world knows “Cape Town” - it’s a global brand.
The main reason for resisting the re-renaming of the airport is: it cost millions to change back in the 90s and it could cost some R20 million this time round.
This for changes to signage, international aviation systems and tourism and marketing material. Eish.
Sure, the money could be better spent on more urgent needs such as housing, education and policing.
But ja, the government is determined to push ahead with its Transformation of Heritage Landscape project, and come next year, our airport, as well as those in PE, East London and Kimberley will have new names.
Airport Company South Africa (Acsa) is cooperating with government to make the process as democratic and inclusive as possible.
The meetings held this week, though, were anything but.
It was like the State of the Nation Address at Acsa’s offices, with political groups shouting each other down.
Some of the names put forward at the public participation meeting included Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu and Robert Sobukwe.
Things got heated, however, when the EFF tried to steamroll the process with their nomination, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
This didn’t sit well with coloured activist group [email protected] Capetonian, who threatened “civil” war if the Khoi people were overlooked.
Singing traditional Khoi songs and waving banners, they voted for the name Krotoa International Airport, after the Khoi princess who acted as interpreter for the Dutch when they first colonised the Cape in 1652.
The group’s spokesperson Fadiel Adams said: “There is no trace of our ancestors here (in the Cape). This is an ethnic and cultural war that is being waged right now.
“In a hundred years, there will be no trace of us. There are enough Mandelas and Tutus. We need to honour our own.”
He has a point. There’s no shortage of buildings, streets, schools and stadiums named after Mandela - in every province.
But which landmarks celebrate the Western Cape and its unique legacy? And what do you think the airport should be named? Rek jou bek via SMS, WhatsApp or email.
Your vote can be submitted by email to [email protected], hand-delivered to Acsa offices at the nearest airport or via SMSes to 079 947 7410.