Travellers passing through Cape Town International Airport have mixed feelings over the renaming of the airport.
The renaming of the airport has received a lot of public attention, since Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema called for the international airport to be named after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela during her funeral on Saturday.
Transport minister Blade Nzimande has said that he believes the airport should “be named after one of our liberation icons who fought tirelessly against white supremacy and apartheid”.
The transport ministry has confirmed that consultations have begun to change the name of Cape Town International Airport, but it remains to be seen if government will take up Julius Malema’s challenge to name the airport Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Airport.
In March this year, stakeholders had already discussed the re-naming of the airport. But Malema’s speech at Madikizela-Mandela funeral, where he demanded government name the airport in Madikizela-Mandela’s honour, has generated more interest in the process.
The transport ministry canvassed a number of names as options for the airport. They include: Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Robert Sobukwe, as well as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The Cape Town International Airport has been awarded the best airport in Africa title for a third year running. The number of passengers passing through the airport has also grown by 22% in the last year, according to the airport spokesperson Deidre Davids.
The airport will soon undergo an upgrade that could cost R7-billion in total which is set to be completed in 2021.