Thank you for your positive responses and the expression of your concerns. I do not think that the Categorization Project is attempting to take anything from the SA Roots and associated projects, but rather add to it. The categorisations of a South African Regional Structures is essential, and there is no attempt to usurp the SA Roots Project objectives.
The crux of this initiative is to get an acceptable regional structure in place, which should be consistent with the global regional scenario. This cannot be difficult, nor complicated. South Africa's geographic history may be unique, but any regional categorization structure is not.
The proposal placed before G2G is deliberately not complex, nor overwhelming. The proposal is not set in stone and is capable of adaption, provided it is consistent with accepted categorization standards. The two key root categories, under South Africa, Places are:
• South Africa, Historic Places
• South Africa, Provinces
The subsidiary root categories to these are being contested before they are in place. The SA Roots Project will determine, I guess, in collaboration with the Categories Project, which of the colonies, the republics, and even South West Africa will go. I agree with Louis Heyman, the Union of South Africa should be considered as an historic place. Its duration was May 1910 to May 1961, when South Africa became a Republic.
The matter of South Africa, Provinces was quite simple… at the time of writing all the Provinces from 1910 to date are named. If we choose to move the Union of South Africa to South Africa, Historic Places... they are still all relevant to pre and post Rainbow South Africa. Someone suggested that global cities do not need province identity. In the grand scheme of things categorisation, yes they do.
I also acknowledge Louis’ contention re South West Africa. However, South West Africa is now the sovereign state of Namibia. The physical geographic territory we now know as Namibia must be set up as a regional structure in its own right, and South West Africa will be a category under Namibia, Historic Places. However, it has equal significance under the South Africa Regional Structure under the category South Africa, Historic Places.
While Louis is correct with respect to the Cape Colony, the South African Roots project has been very specific about splitting the Cape Colony under the Dutch and the Cape Colony under the British. The division should remain and not be interfered with. The question is raised as to why these colonies do not fall under British and Dutch regional structure. The British Cape Colony already does, but this requires a little maintenance. There would be no objection to the two colonies falling under their sovereign states, and perhaps this might be extended to the Natal Colony, which was also a British colony. But, they should also be within the South Africa Regional category root structure, because they are a part of the physical, geographic boundaries of what makes up South Africa today.
Again I agree with Louis concerning dates of incorporation/inauguration, mergers and cessions etc. South Africa has a pretty complex geo-political history and definition of dates would assist usage of categories. It’s a pity that this would not be consistent with WikiTree policy in regional structures. With place naming the category information box would resolve this and the question of language. If it were, I would have a second Rhodesia (before Southern Rhodesia) in Zimbabwe’s historic places.
The South Africa Republic is just the English equivalent of Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, more commonly known as the Transvaal Republic and Transvaal Colony at different times. This does raise the question of language and a structure which is dual stream to cater for English and Afrikaans. I do make the point that South Africa has 10 official languages and Afrikaans and English are not the top most spoken, they rate third and fourth. However, Afrikaans is by far the more widely used a spoken among active South African WikiTree users and this must be respected.
South African categories already have two language streams, and much work under the Dutch controlled Cape Colony is in Dutch if I am not mistaken. Categorization Project is addressing multiple language categorization. For the time being we need to make the choice of one language stream, get the regional structure set up, and then address alternates later. Louis Heyman does, quite rightly, express concern with language naming conventions. I do believe that this applies more to place names (at the category landing level), rather than the root structure (which in my humble opinion should be in the dominant languages of users – and for now that means two streams). There would be absolutely no objection in the use of Dutch names of places at the landing category level, if that was the language in use at the time. CIBs would be ‘deployed’ using the AKA (also known as) function.
Let us not harp on matters of WikiTree procedures, and how this initiative was brought to G2G. Avoid the fine details of what is right and what is wrong at the landing category levels. I agree with some comments about districts being more pertinent than towns during the 19th Century. South African is not unique in districts being more dominant for categorization in rural environments where settlements have evolved therein (churches and eventually administration and commerce). People were born in districts and only came to the village/town settlements to baptise their young. The earlier use of districts rather than towns seems predominant in the Cape.
I am genuinely here to help and bring a positive outcome to this initiative, and I applaud it. Much appreciate to Steven Harris for the initiation. I am happy to do all the work in full collaboration with the SA Roots Project, and will re-join the project, if invited to do so, for this purpose. I would be happy to lead an SA Roots team on categorization. Just by way of note, I am busy initiating the categorization of other southern African states.
I sincerely appeal to all parties here to enter into some form of constructive dialogue for the entire benefit of those working on South African profiles, as I am. A time for leadership, perhaps.