Now for the tough part in Durban’s outreach centre

2014-06-18 00:00

AS construction of the Denis Hurley Centre (DHC) next to the Emmanuel Cathedral in the Durban city centre nears completion the pressure is on to secure the final funding of R4,2 million.

The centre is a legacy project honouring Archbishop Denis Hurley OMI, who was bishop and archbishop of Durban from 1947 to 1992 and who played a significant role in opposing apartheid and promoting the vision of a just society.

The new centre’s structural steelwork has just been completed “but there is still brick working to be done on other floors”, said DHC project team leader Paddy Kearney. “The building is now about two-thirds complete.”

The deadline for completion of the DHC is September 18. “It was originally a 12-month contract to end on August 31 but we had a lot of rain and that stopped construction work.”

Raising funds to pay for the building’s final cost of R31,2 million has paralleled its construction, which sees Kearney and the project team trying to ensure that at the end of each month there is sufficient money in the bank to pay the construction invoices. “Fund raising hasn’t been difficult so far,” said Kearney, “But it will be, as the average cost of construction gets higher towards the end of a project when subcontractors are brought in for the final more detailed work and it obviously gets more expensive.

“We still have to raise R4,2 million by the end of September,” said Kearney. “Timing is crucial as we have to pay all the bills.”

The DHC will house various social outreach projects attached to Emmanuel Cathedral, including the Refugee Pastoral Care, the nKosinathi Feeding Scheme, the Usizo ’Lwethu clinic and Justice, Peace and Development, which provides paralegal support and job-related training. These previously occupied cramped and dilapidated spaces in the old parish centre, which was demolished to make way for the DHC. While the DHC has been under construction these projects have been operating from the Surat Hindu Association building in Dr Goonam Street. Kearney said the numbers of people visiting these ventures have more or less doubled, especially for the feeding scheme and clinic.

Kearney said when the centre is completed the various projects will likely move into by the end of the year.

•Donations can be made to the Denis Hurley Centre Trust,

FNB Bank, Branch Code: 221426.

Account Number: 6220 4261 002

Swift Code: FIRN ZAJJ


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