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Monday Sep 01, 2014

Durban religious landmark sold to hospital group

A religious landmark in the Durban CBD has been sold to a hospital group after crime caused a decline in the attendance of worshippers and prevented the hiring out of the facility.

The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha SA premises and Vedic temple in Carlisle Street, Durban, has been sold to Joint Medical Holdings.

The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha SA organisation sold its headquarters in Carlisle Street, which includes a Vedic temple, for R6 million to Joint Medical Holdings Limited (JMH), which owns City Hospital.

The building and temple has been home to the Hindu community since 1925.

JMH group general manager, Vishnu Rampartab, said they would take occupancy of the building this month.

'We will probably use it for storage and other things. The hall is for a nursing school because we need space for training,' Rampartab said.

Arya Pratinidhi Sabha SA's chief executive, Shailen Bhooshun, said they had been trying to sell the premises for 12 years.

'At one stage people would hire the hall for functions like weddings, but all that came to an end because they found that the area was crime-infested and run down,' he said.

Apart from religious purposes, the building housed a centre for free primary health care, a shelter for women and hosted Vedic classes.

Bhooshun said this would be 'a sad day for a lot of people, who were linked to this place'.

'For some people it is a link to their family history, generation upon generation,' he said.

Bhooshun said the organisation would be relocating on a temporary basis to the Westville Hindu School premises in Meerut Road.

The Mercury


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