THE SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICAN GEOGRAPHERS
The Society of South African Geographers was founded in 1994 when the (then) Society for Geography and the South African Geographical Society joined together (see History).
The union of South Africa’s two Geographical Societies is an historic event that took place in 1994. It is appropriate that we should continue to reflect on it against the backdrop of the unification of a divided South Africa.
The merger initiative started in earnest in 1992, when the two societies agreed to test the feasibility of unification. The process was long and complex, with key behind-the-scenes contributions by many colleagues. They are too many to name here, but they deserve our sincere thanks.
Finally tying the knot was of course the most satisfying achievement, but another occasion will remain imprinted in the memories of many of those involved in the merger. This was the special plenary session at the Port Elizabeth Geographical Conference of 1991, where delegates not only approved the merger, but also demonstrated a unity of purpose that is perhaps unprecedented in South African Geography. Although the Society is aware that the vision of a vigorous, representative and bridge-building geographical association is not yet realised, that vision remains more than ever appropriate in contemporary South African society and we shall continues to strive to achieve it.
Initiatives undertaken by councillors and members have focussed on:
- producing publications that include a Guide to University Departments, a Directory of Professional Geographers, leaflets promoting the discipline, Newsletters and Geogram publications especially for teachers;
- support for the Enviro competition;
- the establishment of the 75th Jubilee Bursary Fund;
- forging links with the international community through the International Geographical Union and other bodies;
- nationally liasing with curriculum initiatives; and
- promoting regional activities and special interest groups.