Renaming of Johannesburg International Airport as O.R. Tambo International Airport





Twelve years after South Africa's remarkable political transition, there is often heated debate, especially in the Afrikaans-speaking community, about many of the name changes that have been made to streets, towns and provinces since the African National Congress came to power in 1994.

For the most part, the names that have disappeared have been those of white Afrikaners, many of them prominent during the days of apartheid.

OR Tambo International is South Africa's busiest airport, handling 16 million passengers a year.

It started life in the 1950s as Jan Smuts Airport, in honour of the country's war-time prime minister.

During the decades of racial segregation, all the airports in South Africa were named after Afrikaner leaders.

However, with the advent of democracy in 1994, those names were removed, and as part of the compromise, the airports became known by their respective towns or cities.

The decision to rename Johannesburg Airport again is arguably the most important change to date.

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