1860 cen­tre in dark­ness

Post - - NEWS - CHAR­LENE SOMDUTH

THE 1860 Her­itage Cen­tre has been plunged into dark­ness be­cause its elec­tric­ity bill has al­legedly not been paid by the De­part­ment of Arts and Cul­ture in KwaZulu-Na­tal.

Its been three months since the Derby Street cen­tre’s elec­tric­ity was dis­con­nected.

Na­tional spokesper­son Asanda Ma­gaqa said the de­part­ment was aware of the sit­u­a­tion and would in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

The cen­tre’s spokesper­son, Satish Dhu­pelia, said the Her­itage Cen­tre was on the same prop­erty as Mu­sic House, a non-profit mu­sic de­vel­op­ment agency that was also sup­ported and funded by the de­part­ment.

“Is­sues of cor­rup­tion have emerged with the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s man­age­ment and its funds were frozen due to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“We share the same meter and Mu­sic House was re­spon­si­ble for the pay­ment of the bill.”

Dhu­pelia said the Her­itage Cen­tre was await­ing feed­back from the de­part­ment about when the bill would be paid and the elec­tric­ity re­con­nected.

“We have moved all our af­ter­noon and night pro­grammes to ear­lier in the day.

“AV Mo­hammed from the Grey Street mosque gen­er­ously do­nated a gen­er­a­tor to the cen­tre in or­der to help us.”

His­to­rian and a trustee at the cen­tre, Jug­gie Pather, said that with the build-up to the cel­e­bra­tions of the ar­rival of the 1860 in­den­tured labour­ers, he hoped the is­sue would be re­solved soon.

“For three months we were in dark­ness. The ex­hi­bi­tions are beau­ti­ful and when they were de­signed, spe­cial light­ing was put in to en­hance the beauty of the ex­hi­bi­tions but now we can­not en­joy it.”

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