Monday, May 14, 2007

Re: Simangaliso.Co.Za

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Environment & Tourism
Press Release:

New Name for SA's first World Heritage Site

South Africa's first World Heritage Site, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park,
has a new name that better reflects its unique identity and sense of place.
After an extensive consultation process, the name has been approved by the
National Cabinet and was gazetted on Friday 11th May 2007 in terms of the
World Heritage Convention Act and will be effective from the 1st of November
Minister Van Schalkwyk said "We are delighted to have a new name that will
take the Park into the future. The new name is iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
This will be integrated with the launch later this year of our new branding
linked to specific marketing, advertising and public relations activities."
The Minister initiated public discussion at Indaba 2005 to find a new name.
This was followed by advertisements in the local, provincial and national
media requesting proposed names for the Wetland Park and advertised public
meetings which were held at Mtubatuba, Mbazwana and Durban. 10 000 briefing
documents were widely circulated amongst the tourism trade, local
communities, Park user groups and members of the public. There was also wide
coverage on radio and in newspapers. In addition, a series of
pre-consultation meetings were held with land claimants, traditional
councils and local municipalities. Input was also requested from historians
and linguists. Over 60 proposed names were received.
The proposed names were considered by the Board of the Greater St Lucia
Wetland Park Authority. In accordance with the World Heritage Convention Act
the matter was then referred to the Minister who, after consultation with
the KZN MEC for Local Government, Housing and Traditional Affairs, and MEC
for Agriculture and Environment, referred it to National Cabinet for final
The Minister said "We believed the 220 000 hectare Wetland Park had outgrown
the name of St Lucia, linked to the town and lake of the same name. The
consolidated boundaries of the park now include a third of the length of the
KwaZulu-Natal coastline, and destinations such as Kosi Bay, Lake Sibaya,
Sodwana Bay, uMkhuze Game Reserve, False Bay, Fannies Island, Charters Creek
Lake St Lucia, Cape Vidal and Mapelane. In addition, internationally, the
island of St Lucia in the Caribbean, with its own newly–listed World
Heritage Site, has a very strong market presence, which dilutes the brand
value of our St Lucia Wetland Park.
"In the broad consultations throughout the past two years it was clear that
there was overwhelming support to change the name. It was widely accepted
that the description of Wetland Park be retained and be linked with a
descriptive indigenous word. The word iSimangaliso has rich historical
context. Ujeqe was King Shaka's insila (aide who keeps all the King's
secrets and gets buried with the King when the King dies). He fled after
uShaka's death to avoid the customary burial with his master. He wandered
into Thongaland, present-day Maputaland, and came back, saying: I saw
wonders and miracles in the flat land and lakes of Thonga. From that follows
an isiZulu saying that if you have seen miracles, you have seen what uJeqe
saw: Ubone isimanga esabonwa uJeqe kwelama Thonga." Ujeqe might just have
been one of the first tourists to visit what is now the iSimangaliso Wetland
Media Enquiries:
Blessing Manale
Chief Director: Communications
083 677 1630
Riaan Aucamp
Ministry: DEAT
083 778 9923
Pontso Pakkies
Media Officer
Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Authority

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