Former railway station revamp proposed

The old railway station in Tongaat. Photo: ANDILE SITHOLE
The old railway station in Tongaat. Photo: ANDILE SITHOLE

DISCUSSIONS to revamp the old railway station building on Railway Street, Tongaat and change it to a museum are at an advanced stage.

Tongaat Museum Committee members intend to turn the old building into a heritage site where the history of Tongaat will be housed.

The building used to be a library and currently belongs to eThekwini Municipality and this year marks 115 since the building was built

A committee member Raman Puckaree said the idea to revamp the building was born a week ago.

"There are a lot of people who share the same ideas about converting the building into a heritage site. On our first meeting this coming Sunday members will discuss a way forward in achieving our dream. Even though it is such an old building, we think it is important to do something positive about it, rather than letting it go to ruin. However, we need approval from eThekwini Council to use the building."

A community meeting will be held on 29 January to discuss a way forward. "Everybody is free to attend because this is a community-driven initiative.
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We urge interested members of the public to come in numbers on Sunday so that we can share ideas about how to restore the history of our town," said Puckaree.

Desmond Chellan from the Tongaat parliamentary office said the late communication minister, Roy Padayachee, had an idea of opening a heritage site in Tongaat to commemorate the arrival of the 1860 indentured labourers.

"The Peace Park in Belvedere would have been a perfect heritage site for Tongaat. The Tongaat Museam committee must follow the proper channels so that we can approach the relevant departments on national level to assist us in getting an official heritage site.
“The committee needs to visit our offices and we will discuss the matter. The old railway building had been broken into several times and might not be an ideal place for a heritage site."

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