eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality [] is the Metropolitan Municipality created in 2000 that includes the city of Durban, South Africa and surrounding towns. eThekwini is one of the 11 districts of KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The majority of its 3,090,126 people speak Zulu (2001 Census).

Meaning of the Name eThekwini

There is much debate over the meaning of eThekwini [cite news | title=SA row over 'bull testicle' name | date=2007-08-23 | publisher=BBC | url = | work =BBC News | accessdate = 2007-08-24 ] [cite news | first=Heinz | last=de Boer | title=Embarrassing meaning of 'eThekwini' revealed | date=2007-08-22 | publisher=iol | url = | work =iol news | accessdate = 2007-08-24 ] , and neither the eThekwini Heritage Department nor the eThekwini Metropolitan Unicity Municipality will state as an absolute fact the derivation of the name.

Some have suggested that the name is based on a joke made by a jester or amaThuli Chief Shadwa who, when the amaThuli settled in the bay are, looked down from today's Berea area and said that the bay looked like a testicle. Certainly, as Adrian Koopman points out in "Zulu Names" [UNP; Pietermaritzburg-2002] , Elizabeth Pooley's "Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and the Transkei" has the Tonga-Kerrie recorded with the Zulu name umthekwini, referring to the single round fruit at the end of each stem. Hence the term "itheku" is or was once used for a one-testicled animal or person, instead of today's "ithweka". Since the word "itheku" is not used today in its original sense many might have been led to believe that Shadwa's joke is in fact a myth.

Janie Malherbe claims that in his pioneering Zulu-English dictionary Bishop Colenso referred to the root word iTeku to mean "open mouth or a bay" for reasons of modesty. However, she clearly did not read the dictionary, which unblushingly gives other explicit meanings and definitions.

Commandant Sighurt Bourquin, a well-known authority on the Zulu, pointed out that the shape of the harbour would not be readily apparent when it was covered with mangroves viewed obliquely through the trees.

Ethekwini is probably the locative form of itheku or bay, lagoon. There is however a suggestion that it is derived from the Xhosa iteko, meaning a meeting place, and was brought to the area by British Settlers in 1824, many of whom had learnt Xhosa whilst in the Cape.



eThekwini is surrounded by:
* iLembe (DC29) to the north
* the Indian ocean to the east
* Ugu (DC21) to south
* Umgungundlovu (DC22) to the west


The following statistics are from the 2001 census.



Party Politics

Election results

Election results for eThekwini in the South African general election, 2004.
* Population 18 and over: 2 046 814 [66.24% of total population]
* Total votes: 978 383 [31.66% of total population]
* Voting % estimate: 47.80% votes as a % of population 18 and over

Non-Party Politics

The shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo has members in more than 30 settlements in eThekwini. Abahlali have campaigned vigorously against evictions, forced removals and for basic services and ongoing democratic consultation. At times there has been serious conflict between Abahlali and the Municipality.


External links

* [ Municipal Demarcation Board]
* [ Stats SA Census 2001 page]
* [ Independent Electoral Commission 2004 election results]

* [ eThekwini Online] The official site of Durban, South Africa
* [ Abahlali baseMjondolo website]

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