Cape Town International Airport Picture Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The Department of Transport and Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) will implement the new names of four airports as “soon as possible” following public comment.

Acsa said Cape Town International Airport, East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport and Kimberley Airport would be renamed as part of the government’s Transformation of Heritage Landscape programme.

The public has until Wednesday to comment.

The renaming of Cape Town International Airport has been in the spotlight since the funeral of Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Orlando Stadium, when EFF leader Julius Malema said it should be named after her.

Acsa said that following that Transport Minister Blade Nzimande had directed them to facilitate the process of changing the airport’s name to Nelson Mandela International Airport to honour the country’s icon.

“The renaming will be implemented in terms of the SA Geographical Names Council Act of 1998 (Act No 118 of 1998).

“The minister of arts and culture is responsible for the approval of geographical names after receiving recommendations from the SA Geographical Names Council. 

"The council is responsible for geographical features of national concern including towns, cities, suburbs and any form of human settlement, post offices, stations, highways, airports and government dams,” Acsa said.

An application will then be made to the relevant Geographical Names Provincial Committee for processing.

These committees will verify that the applications comply with the guidelines in the national Handbook on Geographical Names.

“Once the names have been approved by the minister they will then be published in the Government Gazette.

"A period of 30 days is required for any objections to be submitted in response to the Government Gazette.

"Should any objections be received, the minister of arts and culture will assess them before a final decision is published in the Government Gazette.”

Proposals and comments should be sent to Acsa by close of business on Wednesday. 

Proposals and comments may be sent by e-mail to [email protected] or delivered by hand to the Acsa office at the nearest airport.