Imbali to finally have its own state-of-the-art library

2014-08-29 00:00

THE community of Imbali, Pietermaritzburg’s biggest township, will finally have its own state-of-the-art library.

The new Imbali Library is being funded by the KZN Department of Arts and Culture.

According to the MEC for Arts and Culture, Sports and Recreation, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, the project is currently out on tender and construction is due to begin in October with an expected completion date of February 2016. “The estimated total cost, including modern state-of-the art furnishings and equipment, is in the region of R60 million,” she said.

Sibhidla-Saphetha said the 3 538 square metre library will comprise three levels and feature an 83-seater auditorium, multi-purpose hall, study areas to seat 260 people, free public Internet access at 125 computer stations, a gaming room and magazine and book areas with reading pods recessed into the walls and a tree house in the children’s section.

She said the library will be fully automated with self-check in and out technology for library users to borrow library material.

The library will be located adjacent to a school and sports field at the intersection of FJ Sithole and Thwala Roads.

Sibhidla-Saphetha said this is a highly strategic node of Imbali and has been earmarked for development as part of the National Treasury’s “Neighbourhood Development Programme”.

“The library is also intended to help relieve pressure on the existing Bessie Head Library located in the city centre,” she said, adding the Bessie Head library receives an average of 17 000 visitors per week and on a Saturday morning more than 5 000 visitors (mainly pupils) use the library facilities.

“The library will nestle in a site of over 69 000 square metres and will provide parking for over 80 vehicles,” she said.

Sibhidla-Saphetha added that, “Imbali’s turbulent and vibrant history will be reflected in art work which will be commissioned for the building from local crafts people and artists.”

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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