Mayor assures Durban

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba says there is no need for people in Durban to panic about the name change process.

Speaking to Sowetan from Lisbon, Mlaba expressed concern that the issue of the name change is being sensationalised and was "casting the city in a bad light".

He said the process under his municipality was one of the most consultative name-change processes in South Africa.

"What we have on our table right now are proposals, including that of changing the name of our municipality from eThekwini to KwaKhangela .

"But there could well be other proposals for the municipality's name change," said Mlaba.

He said the suggested name was "in the pot" like all other names and would be looked at by the committee just as all other names.

Once the committee had finalised it, an announcement would be made.

Mlaba said there was no attempt to change suburb or CBD names, "just as much as Egoli and Johannesburg exist side by side".

"There is no decision to change the CBD from Durban. It must be understood that the changing of names is about bringing back the dignity and respect of all of us, particularly those who were oppressed in their own motherland."

His understanding was that the name suggestions on hand were, in the main, to correct the indigenous names of suburbs and streets that were "Anglocized or colonialised".

These names included that of Congella becoming KwaKhangela.

KwaKhangela, which has become known as Congella, was one of King Shaka's palaces and he named it KwaKhangelamankengane.

KwaKhangela means "a place that gave Shaka an eagle's view of what was happening in the ocean so he would easily spot the 'wanderers' as they docked", he said.