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Sticks And Stones

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Sticks And Stones
Submitted by hedmekanik on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 11:51 |

Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names... names will start a shitfight.

‘It was a war. People died on both sides. The war is over, and yet we continue to fight amongst ourselves. The dead would not want their names to be the cause of such bickering; they died so we could live in peace.’ – Viet Cong General, 1978, commenting on the rise of the politically-motivated renaming of streets and landmarks in the post-war period.

You’re familiar (or at least should be) with the phrase 'History is written by the victors', which essentially means that the past is landscaped to please the eye of the new nobility. This is where we find ourselves, at the business end of a thorny issue.

It’s not a new game, this renaming. Every new overlord curries favour with the past and the populace by manipulation to create the perception of being in touch with ‘the people’. But then many stupid and evil things have been done in the name of ‘the people’.

So, in seeking to remove all trace of our shared experience, the mandarins of our much-maligned Metro Council are in a way emulating the China of Mao and the Cambodia of Pol Pot – with the end result being the glorification of those who are remembered fondly and subjectively by those in positions of power, and not those who should legitimately be remembered by virtue of merit. Lest we forget, power corrupts, and it is a strong leader that does not succumb to its gravity.

In its original intent it is a good and honourable concept, to correct the flaws of the past in order to find cultural reinforcement in ones’ home country – this is especially so in a place with colonial hangovers - but things seem to have spiraled out of control of late. How terribly human of us.

The changing of names that have a colonial bent, this is valid in recognition of the price paid by the colonised, and it would be graceless and shortsighted not to acknowledge this. The changing of names related to geographic references, landmarks, monuments and natural features – these names must be considered different to those that honour colonisers and warmongers.

An important aspect of this name changing is to consider the issue of successive governments and City Councils - what if the DA or IFP take over the Metro Council by democratic vote? Will these names be changed again to suit the new victor's taste in heroes? Perish the thought; we would be forever involved in a merry-go-round of new names being substituted for old and vice versa when the guard changes. Merry musical name changes that will cost us all money, whether through our businesses having to reprint all items that carry addresses or through our hard-earned taxpayers’ money being spent on new signs of all shape and size.

The imposition of these suggested names upon the people of the Ethekwini Metro region without due process will portray the Metro Council as autocratic and intractable – bad PR that an organisation who professes to have the interests of ‘the people’ at heart can ill-afford. Pissed off voters vote the other way. Or do they vote at all? When last did you participate in the democratic process?

The problem with the democratic system is that people assume that it will all get taken care of by others – others will manage the state, others will vote, others will voice their concerns on my behalf.

Bullshit. That’s the famous South African Lethargy at work, there.

The democratic process works because of participation. You are the people, so get off your lazy ass, put down the junk food and the DVD and the Playstation control and get your voice heard, or shut up, because you are being given an opportunity to voice your opinion and if you do nothing about it, you have given up your right to complain by silent consent.

The only other choices you have are to either be happy living at #56 Mao Tse Tung Road or pack your bags and leave now before all cultural references that make the place you live in what it is, are permanently wiped off the map. A map you won’t be able to recognise, even though you lived there your whole life.


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Subject:  Is it my imagination or has
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  26 April, 2007 - 09:18

Is it my imagination or has it gone quieter around here since these name changes? It's almost like they induce low morale amoungst the citizens so people avoid Durban Scouts cause they're angry with the city.

Even the site stats show low traffic!

One more thing to blame on the council!


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Subject:  Hmmmm.
Author:  hedmekanik
Date:  26 April, 2007 - 10:37

Must be the preweekend mania, everybody's too busy to trifle with some obscure website that doesn't have pictures of naked chicks...maybe we should have a thread that consists only of googlable words such as: There once was a freindly threesome who had a thing for sex toys and orgies. They were a lesbian, a sweet gay transvestite and a transsexual Transylvanian, all of whom enjoyed a vigorous rogering and the odd menage a cinque involving ladyboys, ping-pong ball distance contests, ben-wa balls, inflatable lovers, and were friends with a buttplugging goatlover who had screaming orgasms?

Reckon that might get some traffic?


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Subject:  ethekweni-scouts
kliktrak's picture
Author:  kliktrak
Date:  26 April, 2007 - 12:19

last week didnt they change the DNS index and server address naming conventions on the interweb ?

maybe these name changes have meant people can no longer find the site on the info super highway - guess it got renamed as well ?
who started the information revolution anyway...oh yes the US military ArpaNet...hmmm no communist revolutionary heroes there...

;-P

KLIKTRAK
http://kliktrak.partychief.com


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Subject:  Common complaint
Author:  hedmekanik
Date:  26 April, 2007 - 12:51

Couple other sites (UK) have reported similar stories - regular users not being able to find sites.


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Subject:  industrial glue?
the_looking_glass's picture
Author:  the_looking_glass
Date:  28 April, 2007 - 22:25

I just wanna know when we gonna hit the town with the industrial glue and post over the new names with the old ones. If we work as a team we can all do it in one night.

shotgun NMR!!!


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Subject:  glue
Author:  chris (not verified)
Date:  18 May, 2007 - 09:38

that is a fuckin great idea

I'm in!!


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Subject:  PRESS RELEASE: STREET
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  30 April, 2007 - 09:23

PRESS RELEASE:

STREET RENAMING PROCESS

Dr. Michael Sutcliffe

City Manager: eThekwini

Over the past week we have received significant comment on some proposed changes to the names of streets, facilities and even the municipality. Whilst some of the comment is not even worthy of response it is very important to make sure everyone understands exactly what the process is so that they may properly contribute to what is an important part of building our city.

1. THE PROCESS TO RENAME STREETS HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY ALL COUNCILLORS IN ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY:

In February 2007 eThekwini’s Council agreed on a process to review and finalise names for streets and facilities in our city. In brief, the process required that after inviting comments from the public, the relevant council committee would review names received, make a recommendation to Council after which such names would be finalized. It must be noted that all political parties represented in council accepted this process and through this accepted there would be renaming.

2. THE PROCESS INVITED COMMENTS FROM ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:

Adverts ran on March 9, 2007 in major local newspapers calling on the public to put forward proposals for the renaming of roads, streets, freeways, municipal buildings, community halls, parks and other public places within the municipal region. Posters were also placed in different Sizakala centres and libraries. The public was encouraged to email, fax, post or even hand-deliver to these centres.

The closing date for submissions was the 30th March 2007, giving the public 21 days to engage with the municipality. And even after this closing date, a few submissions were also considered.

A total of 245 proposals were received. Some were disqualified because they failed to adhere to the set criteria, itself guided by the law. The disqualified included names of living persons, duplicate names and new proposals which did not refer to the old names. Some proposals were made by single individuals and some came from organizations. Some political parties simply forwarded what their branch structures had suggested and indicated that they would only formulate their views collectively when the matters were dealt with by Council. Some political parties made no submissions at all.

3. BEFORE CONSIDERING WHICH NAMES WOULD BE ACCEPTED BY COUNCIL IT WAS AGREED THAT THE PUBLIC WOULD BE INVITED TO COMMENT ON THE SPECIFIC NAMES RECEIVED

After considering the views received from the public in response to the adverts and discussing the matter with my colleagues within the administration, I decided to recommend to committee that before they properly consider each and every suggestion received, that they publish the names received for comment in order to ensure that all members of the public would have an opportunity to air their views on every name under consideration. This changed the process already agreed upon, but I believe it allowed for even greater participation as the public could now comment on the suggestions received from a wide range of sources, before committee considered each name submitted.

Councillors would then be better informed when considering each specific suggestion about views that they received, whether they were criticisms or support for the names received. It is not true that there are any secret submissions or that I have refused to make available the submissions received. After discussions with my Head: Legal I was informed that in order to make available to a third party the actual submissions received I must first ask the person if they are happy to make it available. If they are not I will still make their submission available but without their name or contact details.

The committee accepted my report allowing for this additional consultation until 11th May 2007. After that the committee will meet and consider each and every recommendation and comment thereon, and forward their views to Council for finalization. Obviously, further names can continue to be received and will follow similarly consultative processes.

4. PROBLEMS WITH OBJECTIONS RECEIVED TO DATE

1. MANY OBJECTIONS ARE ABOUT PRINCIPLE OF RENAMING NOT ABOUT SPECIFIC NAMES: Over 95% of the objections received to date have objected to the principle of renaming. Given that council unanimously accepted that some streets would be renamed there is little point in members of the public simply sending in general complaints that they don’t want streets renamed. This included all political parties represented on Council. Council has accepted that some streets will be renamed and it is unlikely that council will rescind that decision. May I therefore urge that members of the public provide specific comment in support or not of specific suggestions for street renaming.
2. ARGUMENTS THAT THESE PROPOSED NAMES ARE A FAIT ACCOMPLI AND THAT IT IS POINTLESS FOR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO OBJECT AS THEIR VIEWS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED: As indicated above, the committee has not sat and deliberated on each and every name yet and so it is important for members of the public to put forward their views. Specific views will have to be assessed and so this is an important opportunity for people to provide specific reasons.
3. ARGUMENTS THAT SOME NAMES ARE REPEATED: As indicated above, different people/organizations may have made suggestions about renaming. This meant that some streets have more than one name, one name has been suggested for more than one street/facility, etc. Clearly the committee will have to look at this because the intention is not to have such as it would lead to confusion.
4. ARGUMENTS THAT SUGGEST ALL THE CITY’S STREETS ARE BEING RENAMED: eThekwini has over 30000 street names, with over 4000 being located in the former Durban central area. Even if all the proposals were to be accepted by the committee, this would mean less than 1 percent of the city’s street names would be changed and the rest would have been named during the colonial and apartheid eras.

I trust that over the next two weeks the public focuses on the consultative opportunities provided by this process and that we receive submissions which will allow the committee to clearly and unemotionally decide on which streets will be renamed and what names they will be given. This is an important aspect of public participation afforded us by our democracy.


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Subject:  This is just saying
xcpointx's picture
Author:  xcpointx
Date:  30 April, 2007 - 13:40

This is just saying that
"Dudes.. we are renaming your streets whether you want us to or not."

This is why I don't vote.
95% of people DO NOT WANT THE STREETS TO BE RENAMED
Democracy does not work.

What do they need? 100%?

New world order.... arghhh!


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Subject:  Dear Dr Sutcliffe
Author:  hedmekanik
Date:  2 May, 2007 - 07:56

Dear Doc;

Although Democracy and I have had a great relationship during these past years since we got together in '94, I am becoming concerned that her sinister sister, that fusspot cow, Bureaucracy, is starting to interfere in our affairs. Dems and I, we hit it off from the start, and the honeymoon was fantastic, what can I say, there were a lot of smiles all round, we saw rainbows. Young love, the best kind. But that bitch Burea is starting to become a real bugbear, throwing spanners in the works and making it damn hard to love a woman when she's so wrapped up in layers of protocol. It's made our relationship stilted, Doc, and we hardly ever see eye to eye anymore. It's not like the old days when we were on the same page and there was heat between us, now it's just friction and the carpet burns I have are now from being walked all over, not from liberated romps.

At my wit's end here, Doc. Tune me what to do, larney.

Yours,

Geezer McRegular


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Subject:  Democratic
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  2 May, 2007 - 12:22

Democratic Alliance
ethekwini Caucus

Media Statement

Public Submissions- What is the city administration hiding?

In the city managers blanket press release regarding name changes he has responded to the Democratic Alliance request to reveal the identity and motivations of the individuals responsible for the list of names currently in the public arena. His response has been as follows:

"After discussions with my Head: Legal I was informed that in order to make available to a third party the actual submissions received I must first ask the person if they are happy to make it available"

This is clearly a case of double standards and inconsistent practice and only serves to deepen the DA's suspicions about the Sutcliffe administration's true motives for keeping this information secret. On the 18th April 2007 the Health Safety and Social Services committee agenda dealt with the public submissions on the proposed fireworks policy for ethekwini. This policy went through an identical public consultation procedure as the street re-naming matter. Attached to the open agenda of the committee are copies of a number of the proposals and objections in this matter. Also included is a schedule listing the names of those who submitted comments as well as the nature of their comment.

The DA has no doubt that the permission for this publication was not sought from these individuals and organizations as they formed part of a public process. Why has the approach in relation to public submissions suddenly been conveniently changed in relation to the street re-naming matter ?. The DA maintains that if the city administration had nothing to hide it would make these submissions, including the identity of the individuals who have made them publicly available. it is clear that the identity of these individuals is being protected for political reasons and should the city release this information it would expose the current process for what it is.


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Subject:  Democratic
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  2 May, 2007 - 12:22

Democratic Alliance

eThekwini Council

Media Statement

Statement By Councillor Tom Stokes - Street Naming: Response to Dr Sutcliffe's media statement

The City Manager’s press release on street naming stating that “council agreed on a process to review and finalize names for streets and facilities in our city” is disingenuous in its implication that what is happening now has the blessing of all councillors.

If Dr. Sutcliffe had actually bothered to implement and follow the procedure mandated at Council Meeting of 31 January 2007, viz.

“That the Task Team consisting of officials should be formed, consisting of members from departments such as Real estate, legal, gipo. These officials will scrutinize all names and provide comments or suggestions where needed. This committee will forward their recommendations to each Ward committee for ratification\amendment after which these recommendation must be submitted to the Masakhane, Grant in Aid, Non Racism, Non Sexism and Non Discrimination committee for final submission to EXCO.” *

we would not now have this huge outpouring of anger and dismay from residents across the city. It is precisely the fact that the mandated council procedure has not been followed which opens this entire process up to judicial review.

The present process has simply ignored the council resolution and skipped the input of Ward Committees and local communities, and perhaps more seriously, the oversight of the official standing committee. The process currently underway has is a few hand-picked officials deciding on the naming of streets in a host of suburbs without the local residents having any input before they are submitted to public debate.

Dr Sutcliffe admits that he simply ignored this agreed procedure and pushed a list of names, many of them offensive, into the public domain. His excuse that “I decided to recommend to committee ( we assume he refers to his own hand-picked Task Team) that before they properly consider each and every suggestion they received, that they publish the names received for comment…(because) I believe it allowed for even greater participation”, is staggering. It is this action that is at the heart of the confusion and public uproar. This is not merely an administrative exercise but an extremely sensitive political watershed that needs a carefully managed and thoroughly consultative programme.

The principle that local communities should have the opportunity, in the spirit of nation-building, mutual cooperation and participation, to change names of sites in their areas to reflect their local character has always been DA policy. But what the DA has consistently objected to is the process that removes community involvement and community choice. Unfortunately, this community participation is not happening at present, rather than trying to promote nation-building by seeking consensus and attempting to satisfy the different communities or to unify people, there is a cynical drive to now impose a narrow ANC partisan political agenda by forcing the names of ANC political figures onto the public landscape and unwilling communities. The DA will use all the strength it can muster to oppose the flawed process and the insensitive and divisive majoritarianism currently executed by the ANC.

For information: Councillor Tom Stokes, DA member Masakhane Committee


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Subject:  In my personal email
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  2 May, 2007 - 12:29

In my personal email correspondence with Michael Sutcliffe, he has told me this:

"In the advert itself and everything else that I know of this was made quite clear that we were publishing the list of possible names for comment before the committee applied its mind. Some of these names come from individuals with absolutely no known political background.

The mess was created, certainly in part by the media, but also by two opposition parties who appeared to be annoyed that they did not send in any submissions as parties even though they had agreed on the process and that we should be renaming some streets and facilities.

I believe this is a mess that is created by poor public relations from the council. The list of names should not have been published, especially when the random members of the public who actually saw the tiny article in the paper and bothered to submit names, admittedly have no idea what they're doing.

I have a feeling that the offensive names on the list will not be accepted. But that remains to be seen.


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Subject:  Democrazy, Bureaucrazy and the whole moerse gemors
Author:  hedmekanik
Date:  2 May, 2007 - 12:47

Dear Doc Sutcliffe

Well, it was bound to happen. Me and the missus, Democracy, we've split. Bound to happen, as I say, but jislaaik, Doc, I never saw it coming, ay. There I was minding my own sweet business, watching WWE Raw, having a dop and the next thing you know that beesh Bureaucracy, she whipped the rug out from under my LazyBoy. Voom! What was that? That was nuptial bliss, stolen from right before my blurry eyes. Gone, the happy days we shared for the past 13 years, gone, the innocence of newlyweds.
Between them the evil sisters skopped me out on my scone and here I am, high and dry, feeling left out in the cold where the streets have no name...well, names I can recognise at least. I don't think I'll ever be able to look Democracy in the eye again. As for Bureaucracy, don't get me started. Far's I'm concerned she can go pickle her p*ss.

Jislaaik.

Nobody said it would be easy, ay. And they were right.

Geezer McRegular


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Subject:  If in Doubt ...SPAM 'EM OUT !!!
kliktrak's picture
Author:  kliktrak
Date:  11 May, 2007 - 11:31

this even made TV news yesterday !
the massive unprecedented reaction to the name changing debacle in Durban !

check out this article:

Durban looks at 120 of 12 000 complaints

KLIKTRAK
http://kliktrak.partychief.com


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Subject:  street renaming
Author:  chrisso
Date:  18 May, 2007 - 09:43

Did anyone see Sutcliffe on etv the other week on this issue?

It was hilarious. Sutcliffe sitting there in his tryhard madiba shirt, saying that anyone who didn't know the street names was a "product of apartheid". I find this interesting as Sutcliffe looks to be in his 50's. I would say that he is a product of apartheid.

What was most amusing is the mixed groups of south africans they interviewed, of whom no-one knows the people on the new signs. I guess black or white, we are all products of apartheid.

He truly is a sorry human being.


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