Geographic Name Change

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Application to change names on the South African Geographical Names Council Database


Geographical names are names of features on earth that are natural or manmade and adapted. These features may be populated or unpopulated.

Geographical names that fall within the jurisdiction of local government include streets, municipal buildings and squares, local parks and cemeteries, and privately owned buildings. Geographical names that fall within the scope of national government include towns, suburbs, human settlements, post offices, stations, airports, harbours and highways, as well as natural landforms such as mountains, streams, rivers, bays, points, islands, wetlands and national parks.

Who may apply for a name approval?

All government departments, provincial governments, local authorities, the South African Post Office (SAPO), property developers, or any other body or person.

For more information go to the South African Geographical Names Council

Steps to follow

  • Obtain application form from the South African Geographical Names Council or your provincial geographical names council.
  • Submit the form with the following information:
    • The language from which the name has been derived.
    • Origin and meaning of the name if you know it.
    • Feature for the proposed name, e.g. a post office or railway station.
    • Magisterial district and province where the place is situated.
    • How far, and in what direction, the feature is situated from the nearest town or magistrate.
  • Enclose an A4-size map.
  • Name the person who suggested the new name.
  • Submit the application form to the Tribal Authority or Local Authority for signing or affixing of an official stamp.
  • Submit the completed form to South African Geographical Names Council, Department of Arts and Culture.

Legal framework

South African Geographical Names Council Act, 1998 (Act 118 of 1998)

Service standard

There is a waiting period of at least three months.


This service is free.

Forms to complete

Application for proposed new Geographical Name and/or change of existing geographical name.

Contact details

Contact Person:  Ms Thulile Mthembu

Tel Office:      012 441 3679

Fax        :      0865298153

Address  :     (Physical) Sechaba House, 202 Madiba Street, Pretoria

                   (Postal) Private Bag X897, Pretoria, 0001