No Documentation Centre, No Statue – Indian Community Not a Priority in KZN

George Mari, MPP DA KZN Spokesperson on Arts and Culture THE Democratic Alliance is alarmed following the news that the official opening of a Documentation Centre, to house historical artefacts, documents and heirlooms donated by members of the Indian community, has again been rescheduled. According to the KZN Arts and Culture department, the opening will now take place on 16 November. The original opening date of 16 November last year was not met. That the original opening date was not met by the Steering Committee – for reasons which remain unknown to date – is of great concern. Meanwhile, a substantial number of priceless relics are gathering dust at storage venues in and around Durban where they have now been for several years. Their condition is unknown. On Tuesday, 7th May, the province’s Arts and Culture portfolio committee will visit the Centre to establish the cause of the delays. The DA will be evaluating the need for more space as not all of the artefacts and heirlooms can be accommodated for display. We will also be following up on the Premier’s lack of action regarding his proposal to construct a monument to commemorate the arrival of indentured labourers and the subsequent contribution of the Indian community to this province. The funding for this was set aside in 2011 yet there is still no statue. The DA will query this with the Premier. It appears that the Indian community is not a priority.

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