Former ANC minister Derek Hanekom has defended the decision to rename Port Elizabeth Gqeberha and East London airport King Phalo international Airport amid criticism by former DA MP, Michael Waters.
Waters took aim at the ANC by saying that it had achieved “a milestone” unemployment rate of 52.4% in the Eastern Cape while it was “fixated” on changing names in the province.
Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa gazetted the name change on Tuesday, despite some objections in the past two years. The town of Uitenhage changed to Kariega, while the Port Elizabeth Airport changed to Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport.
Waters wrote: “So while the ANC is fixated on changing names in the Eastern Cape, they achieved another milestone in that province – the highest unemployment rate in the country – 52.4%.”
Waters was referring to the recent report by Stats SA which revealed that by the expanded definition of unemployment, the figure in the province stands at 52.4%. DispatchLIVE reported that this is an increase from 51.2% in the third quarter of 2020.
Hanekom said all South Africans should be concerned about the high unemployment rate but added that renaming is important.
“You might have preferred Verwoerdburg and Kafferskraal. We don’t need a Port Elizabeth or East London in SA,” he added.
We should all be worried about the high rate of unemployment in our country, but calling name changes a fixation says a lot about you and your party. You might have preferred Verwoerdburg and Kafferkraal. We don’t need a Port Elizabeth or East London in SA. https://t.co/Jjab0eKS8r
— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) February 24, 2021
By Cebelihle Bhengu – TimesLIVE