KZN Science Centre asked to quit mall

2013-12-09 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Science Centre, a non-profit organisation that sees almost 200 000 children a year step into the centre, are finding themselves at a loss after being informed they will have to vacate their home at Gateway.

A statement sent out by Gateway last Tuesday stunned her, said CEO of KZN Science Centre Candice Potgieter.

“I am surprised because we were not told our move had been confirmed. We were still in negotiations; deciding whether we would move or not,” said Potgieter.

She added, “It is really sad that it has come to this decision. The Science Centre has been a vital part of the shopping centre for the thousands of children who have visited us. We will certainly not be closing down and hope to finalise another premises as soon as possible.”

Spokesperson for Gateway Sane Ndlovu said the Science Centre was given a legal notice before an official statement was sent out.

But Potgieter says they had only received the letter on Wednesday morning.

“I am aware that the statement was sent out to the media on Tuesday and that was before we received any news that our move was confirmed.

“We wish to maintain a good relationship with all parties involved but are saddened by the process whereby we were notified.”

Potgieter says she is unable to determine the reason for the vacation of the premises and thinks it maybe a new strategy adopted by Old Mutual Properties, the managers of Gateway.

“The service we provide for young children is needed and we certainly will not let them down. The KZN Science Centre aims to educate the youth and this fact will determine our new location and premises,” Potgieter said.

Old Mutual Properties declined to comment.

• The KZN Science Centre also hosted a fundraiser aimed to showcase the ability of the centre in creating science awareness and an appreciation for science especially to rural and disadvantaged communities in and around KZN.

The centre’s support services manager Chantal Mothilall said it was an opportunity to speak about the funding that is needed in order to be able to continue with the centre.

Guests invited included Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Advocate Tshililo Masutha and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu.

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