1860 centre in darkness
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.”