Hi Phillip, I agree that a standard is required for merging purposes but I disagree that the names on the baptism record should be that standard. For example, I have church baptism records of ancestors and in one family, the surname was spelt in 3 different ways for different family members.
If I could be so bold as to suggest, it may be more useful to issue a governing document on South African surnames for wiki purposes - that way we can all reference that document. The governing document would, of course, take into account all the known variations in spelling. Also the name studies option on wiki is also quite good. I collaborate and contribute the the Hess Name Study, for obvious reasons, and the project leader has created a special country category for South Africa. The name studies landing page can be used as governing policy for contentious South African surnames. I have not found this wiki option widely used by fellow South Africans?
By black I mean all persons of colour in South Africa, whether brought here as slaves on ships or indigenous. Registrations of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and transfer of ownership of deeds is hugely problematic for black South Africans.