Grahamstown name change gazetted

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Tuesday, 3rd July 2018

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced the name change for Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, in the Government Gazette no. 641 of 29 June 2018.  The purpose of gazetting is to publicise the Minister's decision for objections or comments by 28th July 2018.

Prompted by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission recommendation that geographic features, including geographical names, be renamed as a ‘symbolic reparation’ to address an unjust past.

Grahamstown, also known as the City of Saints and home to the internationally-known National Arts Festival, Rhodes University as well as St Andrews College and Prep, DSG and Kingswood private schools, will be renamed after Xhosa warrior Makhanda, who was also known as Nxele, should the re-naming be accepted.  Not to be confused with the Grahamstown municipality which is similarly named “Makana”.

Makhanda, the prophet, was a philosopher and military man, who led an attack against the British garrison in Grahamstown in 1819.

Despite the proposed name change and bitterly cold weather, it is business-as-usual, with the National Arts Festival in full swing and the town welcoming thousands of visitors with its warm hospitality!

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