A landmark Durban building sold to the Church of Scientology in Africa is to become the headquarters for its community work in the province.
Scientology, popularised by Hollywood heavyweights Tom Cruise and John Travolta, has a growing following in South Africa.
The Morningside building, in the city’s dining and nightlife hub, was formerly an hotel. It was recently converted into an army barracks.
It was sold to the Scientologists for R12.5-million.
Chantal Williams, a broker at property company JHI, said the 60-year-old building was originally a boarding house.
Paul Sondergaard, director of external affairs for the Church of Scientology in Africa, said the house would be converted into a regional church building.
“One of the things we do is find old buildings and renovate them to their former glory. We don’t alter the look of it but make it shining and new.”
Sondergaard said his organisation, which he said has a following of about 15000 in Durban alone, will use the building for administering community projects and campaigns.