According to the Mercury of September 3, 2008, it seems as if the local ANC, who run the city, have been told by their KZN branch to back off from attempts to rename Mangosuthu Highway after Griffiths Mxenge. Two violent protests, and the certainty of much more where that came from, have prompted the change of tack. The city is adamant that all the other name changes will still stand and I’m not that hopeful that a court case in progress, in which opposition parties are challenging the name changes, is going to help much.
It was the Nationalist Party and Apartheid thing to force things on people without regard to their feelings on the matter. I seem to remember that someone once commented along the lines that the more things change, the more they remain the same. How true!
The thing that could end up finishing off this country, as far as I’m concerned, is the bery hard-arsed approach that our new rulers display. The people with the skills to run the place may have received them as a benefit from Apartheid but, even if it wasn’t fair, they are still the ones with the skills.
The bad thing about skills is that they take a long time to get and cannot quickly be replaced if they are lost. Again, it may not be fair, but it seems logical to me that the way to proceed with the owners of such skills is to use kid gloves. It should also be remembered that a majority of these people voted for democracy in the referendum.
They won’t understand when someone then comes to them and says in a very democratic way: “Your street is going to be renamed and I don’t care what you think or feel about it”. That alone, probably wouldn’t be enough to send them hurrying off to emigration seminars but it could very well be the final staw for people already worried about the high crime rate, affirmative action, and whether their kids can get a good education and jobs.