By Leslie Bank
The news that the former settler cities of East London and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape were getting new names sparked an outcry from the DA and a few local residents, but it was celebrated and welcomed by others. In the public debate, much more attention focused on the pronunciation of the new names than on their complex meanings and histories.
Professor Leslie Bank is a Deputy Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council in Cape Town and author of a recent book on East London, City of Broken Dreams: Myth-making, Nationalism and Universities in a South African Motor City (HSRC and Michigan State University Press, 2019).
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