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New Future for Durban Landmark

Posted on: November 19, 1999 10:01 AM
Related Categories: Natal, Southern Africa

[Anglican News, Natal] The South African Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Thoko Msane-Didiza, lead a ceremony on 17 September to hand over the Ecumenical Centre in St Andrew's Street, Durban, to the Diakonia Council of Churches.

The building, originally built as a school in 1914 and serving as an Ecumenical Centre since 1983, will take on a new role supporting the work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The building, now known as the Diakonia Centre, will provide modern facilities and accommodation for Durban's NGO community. It is planned to add an exhibition and information centre, along with modern offices and quality conference facilities.

In a ceremony attended by several heads of churches, a time capsule was created near the new skywalk into the building.

Minister Didiza, a former staff member, said that the role played by NGOs, including the churches, in assisting disadvantaged communities to develop themselves was "beyond measure". Noting the decisive part played by NGOs in opposing Apartheid, she encouraged redoubled efforts to spread the work even wider until all South Africans could live in dignity.