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South Africa Renames 85 Towns in Recent Reshuffle



85 towns

Since its establishment by the South African Geographical Names Council Act, 1998 (Act No.118 of 1998), the South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC) has renamed 85 towns across South Africa.

Jacaranda FM reports that the SAGNC is responsible for standardising geographical names and transforming the naming system. It has implemented more than 1,505 name changes nationwide.

These changes extend beyond towns to include various geographical features such as villages, settlements, mountains, rivers, etc.

Business Tech highlights that most of these changes have been concentrated in provinces like KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), with significant activity also observed in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

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While some names were changed outright, others involved assigning names to previously unnamed towns or newly established ones.

Currently, there are 58 name applications in progress, indicating ongoing efforts to further transform geographical naming conventions in South Africa.

Notable changes include renaming Port Elizabeth to Gqeberha, Morgan’s Bay to Gxarha, and Cradock to Nxuba, among others.

In 2023, several name changes were gazetted, including Fort Beaufort to KwaMaqoma, Somerset East to KwaNojoli, and Graaff-Reinet to Robert Sobukwe or Fred Hufkie, reflecting the ongoing process of redressing and correcting historical names.

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