Durban – TEMPLE officials in Port Elizabeth say their rights to privacy have been infringed, as the construction of a neighbouring four-storey building overshadows the historic worship site.
The governing council at the 118-year-old Shri Siva Subramaniar Aulayam in Baakens Valley, said the building, where the anchor tenant would be Algoa FM, would impact on religious practice and members’ privacy.
The property, situated in Upper Valley Road, also boasts the 60-year-old Krishna Temple.
Despite the residents being relocated during the Group Areas Act in the 1960s, the temple remained.
The council chairperson, Ramu Naidoo, said he was surprised when, in October last year, grading work started on the vacant land.
But this, he said, was not the first time they have had an issue with regards to the construction of high-rise buildings.
“In 2009, we were made aware of a 13-storey building that was going to be erected. We immediately put in our objections. The company was subsequently declared insolvent and the plans did not go ahead. We were stunned when we learned of this building, and that was only after the builders, who were grading the area, requested the use of the temple’s electricity and water.”
Naidoo said attempts to get clarity from the municipality proved futile.
He said the situation was frustrating.
“Many of the Hindu prayers conducted require the sun, and now we have the massive building looming