With two weeks to Christmas, Durban may finally get into festive gear when the decorative street lights are finally switched on. Stock photo: AP/Misha Japaridze

Durban - With less than two weeks to Christmas, Durban is finally getting into festive gear by switching on the much-anticipated decorative street lights at the weekend.

In past years, the city would have been brimming with elegantly displayed electrified reindeers, bells and Christmas stockings for at least two weeks already along Dr Pixley ka Seme (West) and Yusuf Dadoo (Grey) streets.

But procurement hiccups – and the inclement weather – had thwarted plans to ring in the festive cheer sooner, a city official said on Tuesday.

The lighting cables were imported and there had been delays in procuring them, said eThekwini municipality’s acting senior manager for lighting, Craig Smith.

”Presently, our staff are busy wiring, connecting and testing the decorative features before installation,” he said. “The decorative Christmas lights will be installed on Saturday and they will be connected and functional by Sunday evening.”

Durban is not the only city that is late this year – so too is Johannesburg.


Its mayoral spokesman, Fred Mokoko, said the council was still in talks about the issue and executive mayor Parks Tau would announce the plans by Thursday.

“At this point there are no decorations in the city, but by Christmas they will be up in the city,” he said.

Cape Town, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay municipality have already installed and switched on their Christmas lights.

The City of Cape Town did so in style on December 2, hosting a free concert featuring popular musicians Lira, Freshlyground and Jimmy Dludlu for tens of thousands of residents.

Mayor Patricia de Lille flicked the switch on more than 5km of rope lighting and 4 000 bulbs.

Nelson Mandela Bay municipality spokeswoman, Marthie Nel, said they re-used their decorations every year. - Daily News