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.