The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) has generously invested R30.5 million in sponsorship towards the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Heritage Projects. The funding will be used by the City Campus Restoration Project, which is concerned with preserving the architectural heritage of the 100 year old building, and the Research of Currie’s and Surrounds (ROCS) project.
DUT Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Nqabomzi Gawe said: “The University is proud to be the recipients of this considerable financial sponsorship. The financing of the heritage projects will ensure that the restoration project is completed timeously and that the academic programme will continue as scheduled. As Durban residents, staff and students of DUT, we are proud that the historic essence and architectural design could be preserved and celebrated. We are grateful to the NLDTF for their generosity and their commitment to education in South Africa. The funding towards sponsorship for the ROCS project will assist in honing and nurturing skills of young researchers, postgraduate students and a cohort of academics.”
City Campus Restoration Project
DUT is proud to celebrate a 100 years of history at City Campus. The building, which currently accommodates DUT’s Faculty of Arts and Design, was initially built for students and staff of the Durban Technical Institute. The building’s foundation stone was laid by the Duke of Connaught on 03 December 1910.
In celebrating the centenary of City Campus, DUT has embarked on a building restoration project. The project involves the replacement of the entire roof with all ancillary components of the ceilings, electrical and air conditioning installations. During the refurbishment the original architectural features will be maintained. The project forms part of DUT’s progressive academic and social development goals which are committed to the creation of a learning environment through the provision of safe, modern and technologically advanced facilities for its academic community. The massive revamp and renovation project is reflective of DUT’s commitment to academic excellence, scholarship and the promotion of an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.
The decision to close the campus during the removal and reconstruction phase was motivated by safety concerns and aims to minimise disruptions to the academic programme. The building restoration project will run from May until August 2010. However, the academic curriculum for 2010 has been designed to accommodate the four month semester break which will also coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Management said the temporary closure of the faculty is necessary for the urgent replacement of the roof. The university’s academic activity will not be affected by the project as management has engaged in extensive consultation with lecturers who have restructured their syllabuses to ensure all students complete their 2010 academic programme.
The academic calendar for all programmes offered at City Campus included two semesters, the first semester will commencing in January, a month earlier than the University wide programme, ending in April and the second will begin in September ending in December. To ensure minimum disruption to the academic programme for 2010 only contact academic work will be done during the beginning of the year. Students were given projects to do and communication will be maintained between staff and students via e-mail. Should a need arise for lecturers to meet with their students; support venues at
other campuses will be made available.
Academic support will be made available at Steve Biko Campus to ensure off campus management is maintained by the Faculty of Art and Design. Administration and recruitment procedures will also not be disrupted as the office of the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design and the Faculty office will be temporarily relocated to Steve Biko Campus.
The ROCS Heritage Research Project
The Research of Currie’s and Surroundings (ROCS) project is a heritage research project focussed on documenting the history of an old precinct, in Durban. The historical site of Currie’s Fountain sports ground is used as a catalyst to tell the story not only of Currie’s Fountain, but also the schools, residential areas, markets, bus ranks, cinemas and commercial activity that surrounded Currie’s Fountain. It was and still is to a large extent the “Black Town” and represents a significant part of the urban black history of the City of Durban.
The history of Currie’s Fountain is part of a wider context of the people, places, spaces and events around it. Currie’s was part of a neighbourhood made up the Beatrice Street area, Grey Street area, the Market, Wills Road, Warwick and Mansfield area. This is the area that comprised the “non-white” town, affectionately known as Currie’s. “Currie’s” is so well known and has such a long history it has become the pivot and catalyst around which the interrelated spatial history of the precinct and its people can be told and integrated.
The financial support by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) for the ROCS project has enabled the research team to host a planned exhibition on “Soccer at Currie’s” in the near future. Although the exhibition will display photographs by professional photographers, the general public is invited and encouraged to submit their personal photos to the research team at DUT, so that their memories can form part of the exhibition and help in the telling the story of Currie’s Fountain.
For more information, please contact:
Len Rosenberg Gops Chetty
ROCS Project Leader DUT Special Advisor to the Vice Chancellor
Office: 031 3732708 Office: 031 373 2662
Mobile: 0837772900 Mobile: 0836416444