This followed a Provincial Gazette No 6483 of the same date and the Official Notice 9 of 2008 duly amending the original notice which established the Southern District Municipality as DC 40 back in the year 2000. The amendment was ratified by the Honourable MEC for Developmental Local Government and Housing in the North West Province Mr HD Yawa having satisfied himself that we had complied with all the legal requirements relating to the name change process.
Our name change exercise is a journey which began back in ... when Council resolved to direct the Executive Mayor to establish a multiparty Section 80 committee to drive the process forward. The key responsibility of this committee chaired by former Councillor Zandi Moweli was to facilitate and co-ordinate a public participation process to solicit the views and proposals of the community on what the new name, logo and motto for the Southern District Municipality should be.
Looking in hindsight, I am proud of the excellent and detailed work done by all councilors who served on this committee. They showed a clear understanding of their role and responsibility as per Council decision. Through their efforts, we were able to hit the ground running, in the process reaching thousands of residents in a variety of platforms. These ranged from public hearings, ward meetings, meetings with school learners and an outreach to civil society and political organizations through the mass media.
In particular, the name change competition which we ran through local newspapers aroused the most enthusiasm among our residents, especially school learners whose creativity left us spellbound. Overall, the participation of our people in this process was satisfactory, they are actually took ownership of the process.
Following the conclusion of the consultative leg, a comprehensive report was submitted to Council on 01 October 2007. In the end, three names proved the most popular among the residents of our district. These names in order of their priority were the following:
Dr Kenneth Kaunda
At its ordinary sitting on ….. our municipal council decided, by majority vote, on the name Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality.
A month-long period of objections and/or comments was allowed from 7 August to 7 September 2007.
Having taken the necessary measures to exhaust internal processes, Council secured acceptance of the new name from both the Geographic Names Committee as well the Provincial Government.
In this article, I will not provide any motivation for the new name as the public participation process has taken care of that. However, it is worth posing and briefly responding to the critical question: Who is Dr. Kenneth Kaunda?
Kenneth Kaunda was born in the former Northern Rhodesia, later called Zambia. Like his parents, Dr. Kaunda is a former teacher who began his political career as the founder and secretary of the LUBWA branch of the African National Congress in 1950. he rose to the rank of general secretary of his party in Northern Rhodesia. With the adoption of a new constitution and the advent of Zambia's first black government in 1962, he held the portfolio of social welfare before rising to the position of prime minister in 1964. he occupied the higher post of President of Zambia until 1991 where he left public office.
In addition to his efforts in Zambia, Dr Kaunda was in the forefront of major efforts to liberate the whole of Africa, serving as President of the Pan African Freedom Movement. He offered refugee to countless liberation movements especially those from Southern Africa, including the African National Congress at great cost to his people.
A retired politician, this farther of African liberation currently serves on the eminent group of former heads of states – The Elders along with Nelson Mandela; Desmond Tutu, Sir Ketumile Masire and others – offering leadership and shearing their wisdom on a range of developmental challenges facing the African continent.
As a district, we are proud to be associated with a man of such greatness and virtue. There is no doubt that carrying the name of a person with such impeccable credentials will in itself help the re-branding of our district and pay dividends in marketing us within the investor community at home and abroad.
In the aftermath of the recent xenophobic attacks against African immigrants witnessed in the past few weeks across South Africa, our new name will go a long way in reviving the common bonds of Africans within our country and throughout the continent. We owe it to future generations to educate today's youth about the heroics of men and women of the caliber of Dr Kaunda.
KK as he is affectionately known – will inspire us to explore prosperity in the best interest of all our residents.
All of us must be proud to live in the new Dr Kenneth Kaunda District. I feel immensely humbled by the opportunity that history has bestowed on me as the inaugural executive mayor of Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Muncipality.
Soon, we shall embark on programme of festivities to launch the new name in style. We look forward to your participation in those festivities.
Together, let us continue championing sustainable quality service delivery for all.
God bless Africa.
God Bless Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality and its Residents.
I thank you.