'No harm in changing names'

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Political analyst Protas Madlala says the renaming of Durban's 2010 soccer stadium, the International Convention Centre (ICC) and hundreds of streets is a process that symbolises the maturity of our democracy and should be welcomed.

Last Wednesday the ANC in the eThekwini municipality agreed to go ahead with the proposal to rename the former King's Park Soccer Stadium the Moses Mabhida Stadium and the ICC to Chief Albert Luthuli Convention Centre.

"People should accept that the matter was debated peacefully and back the process," says Madlala.

The IFP stormed out of a full council hearing on the issue vowing to "caucus on the issue" and continue objecting to its implementation.

Smaller parties said they were concerned that the public had not been properly consulted.

Obed Mhlaba, the eThekwini mayor, said: "We must understand that some of the names in existence are either offensive or totally ignore the history of its residents.

"For example, KwaMashu was named after the Marshall family, who owned sugar cane plantations. The apartheid government implemented the name change because locals called the family uMashu and hence the name KwaMashu stuck. Now some people believe that the suburb is not about sugar cane," he said.