La Mercy Airport : King Shaka waits in the wings

Pretoria - Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana is expected to announce next week whether she approves of the new La Mercy airport, north of Durban, being named King Shaka International Airport.

After a series of public consultation with relevant stakeholders, the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government submitted the name King Shaka International Airport to the South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC).

Member of the SAGNC, Mandla Mathebula, told BuaNews that during their meeting on Thursday, they endorsed the name and sent it to the minister for approval.

"By the end of next week, the minister would be in possession of our submission on her desk," he said.

In terms of the South African Geographical Names Council Act of 1998, objectors have one month from the announcement of the minister's approval of a new name to submit written objections.

Based on the objections, Xingwana may decide to uphold the new name, or to refer the decision back to the council for reconsideration.

In every case she has to provide the complainants with the reasons for her decision.

The new airport is scheduled to start operating in May. - By Nthambeleni Gabara of BuaNews