Presidential residence in Durban under R12.7 million repair

The Presidential residence in Durban is undergoing major renovations to repair damage caused by the storms that hit the city in 2016.

The Department of Public Works said in a statement on Thursday that work at the Dr JL Dube Presidential residence is expected to take eight months to complete at a cost of R12.7 million.

The current renovations, which started in February, include roof repairs to the main house; repairs and renovations to the housekeeper’s flat; repairs and renovations to the guesthouse; repairs and renovations, including the replacement of the roof, to the house manager’s house; and upgrading of security installations.

“It must be noted that Dr JL Dube House is heritage site, boasting well over 100 years of rich history.

“Therefore whatever is renovated or replaced will have to be restored to its original state by a competent specialist contractor with proven past experience in heritage facilities,” said the department.

Comprehensive investigations and feasibility studies had to be done for the project to be registered.

Also, to ensure that the heritage aspect of the facility was not compromised, the Heritage Council in KwaZulu-Natal (Amafa) was approached for inputs and approvals of the proposed repairs.

The department said investigations also discovered that there was a woodborer infestation which had to be addressed.

The residence, which was first occupied in 1904, has seven buildings.

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Presidential residence in Durban under R12.7 million repair