Between the DA and the deep blue sea

2011-11-19 15:54

One of the main opening events for the 17th climate change conference was nearly scuppered this week when a row erupted over the colour of a public artwork line.

The Walk the Future event, organised for Sunday, got tangled up in petty party politics in the eThekwini ­municipality in Durban.

Part of the event is a blue line designed to symbolise the rising sea level’s potential impact on the coastline and where the rising sea might end up in 50 to 100 years due to climate change and temperature rise.

Celebrities and politicians­ ­including Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize were all scheduled to do the walk along the blue line on Sunday along with the public.

But the colour of the line ­apparently made some officials in the ANC-run city see red – they perceived it to represent the Democratic Alliance’s blue colours.

City Press understood from two sources involved in the project that certain Durban city officials wanted the colour of the line changed before the city would give the go-ahead to start painting the line.

But reason prevailed and the project was “now definitely going ahead”.The Blue Line was the brainchild of Futuremap founder Jenny Cargill. “I don’t know where that came from.  Blue is the colour of the sea,” she said this week.

“The whole affair seems rather bizarre.” Cargill said the only delay was due to technical issues the city had had because of the curving of the line over the road.

This isn’t the first time public artwork in Durban has caused controversy. A public artwork sculpture of elephants was canned last year ­because the­ ­animals looked like the Inkatha Freedom Party logo.Durban city manager Michael Sutcliffe said the city supported the Blue Line initiative.

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