By Heinz de Boer
Mayor Obed Mlaba has called for peace and unity as municipal contractors on Wednesday begin placing the first of a 100 new road name signs, amid threats of vandalism and violence.
Snell Parade will be the first of Durban's streets to receive its new name plates this morning, with contractors expected to erect some new road name signs in the CBD and suburbs in the days ahead.
The new signs officially bring to an end Phase 2 of Durban's street renaming project, but could very well be removed if vandals make good on their promises to remove signboards, or if opposition parties launch promised legal action.
While the IFP and the DA have yet to deliver on their threats to approach the High Court to set the renaming decisions aside, papers have yet to be filed.
Militant Amanzimtoti and Umlazi residents have, meanwhile, also threatened to deface, remove or "blow up" the new signboards that will replace Kingsway Road and Mangosuthu Highway names with ANC bomber Andrew Zondo and struggle icon, Griffiths Mxenge.
eThekwini Transport Authority deputy head Logan Moodley on Tuesday said no special security precautions or Metro Police escorts would be provided for contractors hanging signs - including those in the Umlazi region where Mangosuthu Highway will be renamed.
Mlaba said it was time to build the province.
"This is the time to talk. We all represent the same communities and need to engage to ensure peace and unity in a province that is seen as less competitive economically, but has great potential," he said.
Never shy to admit that politicians are paid to politicise issues, Mlaba said: "Politicians will be politicians, but that should not hamper us working together. In any case, I don't think the ordinary person in KwaMashu or KwaMakhutha is too worried about new signs going up."