“PRESENTATION ON PUBLIC
HEARINGS ON GEOGRAPHICAL
NAMES”
DAC
PRESENTED BY:
ACTING DIRECTO-GENERAL
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND
WHAT IS SAGNC?
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF SAGNC
STATISTICS ON NAMES APPROVED
INSTRUCTION FROM FOSAD
PROVINCIAL HEARINGS
CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINS
POSITIVE THINGS TO BUILD UPON
POLICY IMPLICATIONS
2
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Each country has the sovereign prerogative to
standardize its geographical names, i.e. to decide what
the name for each feature in that country should be, and
how that name should be written. This is in accordance
with UN Resolution 4 of the First United Nations
Conference on the Standardization of Geographical
Names.
1.2 Consistent use of accurate geographical names is an
essential element of effective communication worldwide
and supports socio-economic development,
conservation and national infrastructure. Geographical
names identify and reflect culture, heritage and
landscape.
3
INTRODUCTION CONT…
1.3 Correct use of accurate geographical names can
provide benefits to local, national and international
communities in respect of trade and commerce,
population census and national statistics, property
rights and cadastre, urban and regional planning,
environmental management, sustainable development
and conservation, disaster relief, security strategy and
peacekeeping operations, search and rescue
operations, map and atlas production, automatic
navigation, tourism and communications.
4
2. BACKGROUND
2.1
2.2
South Africa established a geographical names
authority in 1939, called the National Place
Names Committee. It advised the then Minister of
National Education and, subsequently, the
Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology
on proposed new names and applications for
changes of names.
However, the NPNC had too narrow a mandate and
did not represent certain sections of our society.
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BACKGROUND CONT…
2.3 In 1996, a Working Forum on Geographical Names
was established to advise the then Minister of Arts,
Culture, Science and Technology on the
reconstitution of the NPNC in the light of the
recommendations of the White Paper on Arts,
Culture and Heritage, international standards and
cultural concerns.
2.4 It also had to attend to legislation. In accordance
with the recommendations of the Working Forum,
the South African Geographical Names Council
(SAGNC) was established by Act No. 118 of 1998 (the
South African Geographical Names Council Act).
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3.
WHAT IS SAGNC?
3.1 The SAGNC is an advisory body that advises the
Minister of Arts and Culture on the standardization
and transformation of geographical names in South
Africa. It establishes the policies and principles for
the naming of geographical features in South Africa.
3.2 It standardizes the geographical names under its
jurisdiction. To do this, it determines the name to be
applied to each geographical feature and the written
form of the name. It recommends standardized
names to the Minister for approval. It records
approved geographical names and makes them
known through publications and on the Internet.
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4.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF SAGNC
4.1
To standardize geographical names (one name
one feature, correction of spelling and name
changes)
4.2
To transform the South African heritage
landscape to reflect the cultural and demographic
composition of a democratic South Africa.
4.3
To implement the recommendations of the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission, which
recommended symbolic reparations to those
who suffered and lost their lives for the
achievement of a free and democratic
South
Africa and acknowledgement of the bravery and
patriotism of all South Africans by naming
geographical features in their honour.
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5. STATISTICS ON NAMES APPROVED
TOTAL NAMES APPROVED IN EACH PROVINCE
350
319
300
250
185
200
150
131
122
100
50
68
45
20
6
8
NC
FS
0
WC
EC
ZN
9
NW
GP
MP
LP
6.
6.1
6.2
INSTRUCTION FROM FOSAD
The head of the Forum of South African Directors
General (the Cabinet Secretary) reported to the
Department of Arts and Culture on the outcome of a
meeting with the President and the Deputy
President held on 18 April 2007. At this meeting the
Department of Arts and Culture was tasked with
implementing special social cohesion campaigns,
which include familiarization with national symbols
and country- wide
public
hearings
on
geographical names.
It was recommended that the South African
Geographical Names Council should undertake
country-wide public hearings on place names and
report back to Cabinet.
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6. INSTRUCTION FROM FOSAD
CONT…
6.3
6.4
The decision was based on the fact that the
SAGNC had been in place and operational
for more than six years and yet transformation of
geographical names was slow. In cases where
changes had been made there had been
objections and court challenges, which created
an impression of a non-cohesive society.
Government had a strong desire to open a
social dialogue on issues of geographical
names.
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7.
PROVINCIAL HEARINGS
7.1 The format for provincial hearings was to be a two-day
hearing in each province (some provinces opted for a oneday hearing) where the national and provincial Arts and
Culture leadership, together with the South African
Geographical Names Council and the Provincial
Geographical Names Committees, clearly explained the
procedures that need to be followed in standardization,
including the government mandate to bring about
transformation in the cultural and heritage sector.
7.2 The public were informed through the media of the public
hearings in their respective provinces. All municipalities,
political parties, labour organisations, traditional leaders
and affected and interested stakeholders were invited to
make written and/or oral presentations and make
recommendations during each provincial hearing.
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7. PROVINCIAL HEARINGS CONT….
MARKETING AND PUBLICITY
7.3 The project was launched on 30 May 2008 in Cape Town by
the Department of Arts and Culture and the South African
Geographical Names Council.
7.4 The launch was attended by members of the Portfolio
Committee on Arts and Culture and members of the print
and electronic media.
7.5 Information on Provincial Hearings in a form of radio
advertisements of 30 seconds duration were placed on all
local and community radio stations in the region of
relevant provinces. Quarter Page colour-print
advertisements were also placed on national and local
newspapers.
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PROVINCIAL HEARINGS CONT.
PROVINCE
Mpumalanga
Eastern Cape
Free State
KwaZulu Natal
North West
Limpopo
Western Cape
Gauteng
Northern Cape
DATE
16-17 October 2008
30 -31 October 2008
13 February 2009
27-28 March 2009
31 March 2009
11 February 2010
04 March 2010
24 March 2010
03 June 2010
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8. CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS
IDENTIFIED DURING THE HEARINGS
8.1
Human and financial resource (e.g. contract staff
and not enough budget)
8.2
Intergovernmental relations and relations with
other organizations and institutions of higher
learning (e.g. provincial and government
representatives appointment and municipalities
not cooperating with PGNCs or SAGNCs)
8.3
Political buy-in and support (e.g. where there is
political buy in and support geographical names
changes achieved social cohesion and nation
building)
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9.
POSITIVE THINGS IDENTIFIED TO
BUILD UPON
9.1 All provinces have established provincial
committees, with modest equitable representation.
Women and minorities are still underrepresented. The committee skills profiles of most
committee members add value to the work of most
committees, e.g. those from universities and
relevant institutions and traditional leaders.
9.2 All provinces have attempted to establish lower
structures in the form of subcommittees or
district/local committees.
9.3 The provinces have mainly been working in
cooperation with the provincial department of
arts and culture or their immediate agencies
as the key provincial political and strategic
support partners, but that is not the case with
municipalities.
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10. POLICY IMPLICATIONS
• Legislation
10.1 The responsibilities and jurisdiction of the three tiers of
government with respect to geographical names
need to be clearly delineated.
10.2 It is not clear whether all three levels of government are
obliged to adhere to the principles and guidelines set out
by the SAGNC. It should be quite clear what is mandatory.
10.3 It is not clear where the principles and guidelines of the
SAGNC should be published, in order to make clear what
is mandatory and what is merely recommended.
10.4 There are different views as to whether entities of
national significance such as capital cities should by law
be referred to Parliament (as is the case with the
names of provinces) or at least treated differently to
smaller places, and what say local communities have in
such cases.
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POLICY IMPLICATIONS Cont..
10.5
10.6
10.7
The sources of funding at each level of
administration need to be identified. Funding
should be in accordance with the respective
mandates of each level of authority.
The situation regarding private properties
that have offensive names should be
considered.
Does there need to be regulation of the
relationship between the SAGNC and the
Rural Development Department (Chief
Directorate of Surveys and Mapping), in order,
for example, to co-ordinate policies over
depicting cadastral names and offensive names
on maps?
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Thank
You
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Department of Arts and Culture Presentation