Category: <span>Garden Route</span>

Eden District Municipality name to change to Garden Route District Municipality

On 5 December 2017, the Eden District Municipality Council approved the name change of Eden District Municipality to Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM). The decision came after the entire Eden DM Council took note of the rigorous Public Participation process followed by Eden DM and all role-players since the onset of the name-changing process. The next step of the name change will be to inform the Western Cape Government, MEC for Local Government, Mr Anton Bredell, of Council’s decision and request to publish a notice about the name change in the Government Gazette.

During a debate in Council, Cllr Memory Booysen – Eden DM Executive Mayor explained the reasoning behind the name change, by saying: “The Regional Tourism brand will still be known as Garden Route and Klein Karoo and will continue to be marketed in that way. By changing our name to Garden Route District Municipality does not mean that we see less value in the name Klein Karoo, we see the Klein Karoo as part of the Garden Route. When looking at the name “Eden”, it never included the name “Klein Karoo”, but people were still aware of it.”

Cllr Mark Willemse – Eden DM Speaker also shared his personal views about the name change. He explained: “The name Eden is not familiar to people outside the region and it also did not add any value to tourism in the region – it only created confusion. If a person does a Google search for the word “Eden”, it does not even mention anything about the Garden Route or Klein Karoo, but once a person searches for the phrase “Garden Route”, the words “Klein Karoo” ends up with the search results of Garden Route.”

The Public Participation and awareness of the proposed name change included: 

  • Website: Online comment submissions
  • Social media: WhatsApp messages, Facebook posts, Tweets
  • Broadcast media: Radio interviews (Algoa FM, Eden FM)
  • Print media: Newspaper notices in the Group Editors regional newspapers
  • Public Participation sessions: All B-Municipalities (Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn).

Outcome of public and council opinions:

  • Municipal Councils in favour of the proposed name change:
  • Eden, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, George, Bitou and Knysna.
  • Municipal Councils opposed to the proposed name change:
  • Oudtshoorn and Kannaland.
  • Public in favour of the proposed name change: 28
  • Public opposing the propose name change: 26
  • Other proposals: 7

The Communication and Graphic Design Section of the municipality will design the GRDM logo and a brand guide to ensure that the organisation transitions smoothly into a new identity.

Proposed name change of Eden District Municipality to Garden Route District Municipality

The Eden District Municipality Council resolved the following on 30 August 2017 (DC 214/08/17):

  • That council agrees in principle on the proposed name change from Eden District Municipality to Garden Route District Municipality.
  • That a proper public participation process be initiated to solicit the view of all stakeholders and members of the public.
  • That the municipal logo and other symbols and colours maybe be reviewed after completion of the public participation process.
  • That the comments from B-municipalities within the district also be obtained.
  • That a time frame of sixty (60) days be allowed for a proper public participation process starting from 1 September 2017.
  • That a final report be submitted to council after the public participation process has been finalised.
  • That should council finally approve the proposed new name, the new name be submitted to the Minister of Local Government to comply with Section 16 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998.

The motivation for the proposed name change to Garden Route District municipality among others is as follows:
Various names and brands are used to refer to the Eden district municipal area. names include, but are not limited to: Southern Cape, Southern Coast, Eden, and Garden Route. This creates a state of brand delusion, meaning that there is a mismatch between what some believe, what council believes 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 a lot of time and effort.

There is evidence that a lot of people outside the Eden district do not understand what the word ‘Eden’ means in the context of our municipality or why the district is actually using the name.

From a competitive tourism marketing strategy point-of-view, it is difficult to promote a brand in the oversaturated tourism market. Currently the European, Chines and Southern American and African markets are already aware of the name Garden Route, which makes it easier to continue with a brand aligned to this description.

Our area has already been declared an international biosphere by UNESCO and is known as the Garden Route Biosphere reserve. That is a very prestigious recognition that we must leverage to ensure economic growth for our region.