Name change proposedposed
The Eden District Municipality council resolved in principle to change the municipality’s name to Garden Route District Municipality.
“To create a public perception about a brand takes much time and effort; nobody outside the Eden district understands what the word ‘Eden’ means or why the district is using this name,” a spokesperson for the EDM told the Mossel Bay Advertiser this week.
At the Mossel Bay Business Chamber regional conference on Thursday, 14 September the Eden District Municipality’s (EDM) Portfolio Committee chairman of Roads and Transport Development, Rowan Spies, said plans were being made to establish the area as the next metro in the Western Cape, with Mossel Bay / George as its core.
“Part of these plans is the change of the Eden District Municipality’s name to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo District Municipality,” Spies said. He spoke on behalf of EDM mayor, Memory Booysen.
According to the EDM, due process will be followed to ensure that the name, “Eden District Municipality” changes to “Garden Route District Municipality”. This council decision was made on 30 August (resolution number DC 214/08/17).
Whether the proposed name without reference to the Klein Karoo will be acceptable to B-municipalities situated in the Klein Karoo or Hessequa-areas, such as Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn or Riversdal, remains to be seen.
The EDM told the Mossel Bay Advertiser a public participation process, “in collaboration with B-municipalities” would follow to ensure the public had ample time to comment and/ or object to the proposed name change to “Garden Route District Municipality’’. The public participation sessions will ensure that the public voice is heard and this will happen during October. “Notices will be placed in newspapers, social media and an interview will be arranged with a local radio station,” EDM spokesperson Herman Pieters, senior communication officer: Communication and Graphic Design Unit, said in response to questions.
The council of the EDM has approved
60 days for the finalisation of the public participation process on the name change for the district municipality. “The 60 days already started on 1 September 2017,” official communication stated.
Asked what the estimated cost of the proposed name change would be and whether, considering the cost, there exists good motivation for the change, Pieters said the current dilemma faced was that there were various brands and names used to refer to the Eden district municipal area.
“Names include, but are not limited to: Southern Cape, Southern Coast, Eden, Garden Route and Garden Route and Klein Karoo. This creates a state of brand delusion, meaning that there is a mismatch between what we believe the municipality’s brand should represent and the experience of the people who live and visit our area.
“To create a public perception about a brand takes much time and effort; nobody outside the Eden district understands what the word ‘Eden’ means or why the district is using this name.”
He added that, from a competitive tourism marketing strategy point of view, it is difficult to promote a brand in the over-saturated international tourism market.
Currently, the European, Chinese and Southern American markets, to name a few, are already aware of the name Garden Route, which will make it easier to continue with a brand aligned to this description.
“In conclusion, the brand ‘Eden’, has not much value to add to the names ‘Garden Route’ and ‘Klein Karoo’ already known by domestic and international audiences.”
He did not respond to the question on the actual cost involved
“To create a public perception about a brand takes much time and effort; nobody outside the Eden district understands what the word ‘Eden’ means.”