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.