Umzinto complex opens

2011-04-13 00:00

RESIDENTS of the town of Umzinto, in the heart of the Umdoni Municipality, now have access to a brand-new library and sports complex.

The complex cost the department around R16 million to build.

It was handed over to the Umdoni Municipality at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday by the provincial MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Weziwe Thusi.

Addressing the guests, Thusi expressed satisfaction at being able to hand over the library to the public, even though it has already been in use for around a year.

“Libraries have the potential to play a key role in fighting social ills such as crime, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy,” said Thusi.

Construction began over two years ago, according to department spokesperson Ncumisa Fandesi.

“The library was built very quickly and has been in public use for about a year already,” said Fandesi. “We have already had around 105 000 walk-ins since then … the public has responded very positively.”

The reason for the lengthy delay in the official opening, according to Fandesi, can be attributed to a problem encountered in the completion of the sports fields.

“We had floods, which severely damaged the sports fields and made things very difficult,” she said.

“The cost of the sports fields escalated from R2 million to R7 million and we are delighted that we are finally able to hand over the centre to the public.”

Thusi said the the complex is part of a governmental drive to bring about behavioural change, particularly among young people in the communities.

“The majority of the people who are always involved in anti-social behaviour are young people,” said Thusi.

“We therefore have a challenge to use these types of facilities to make them productive and responsible citizens.”

The Malangeni Library, which cost R9,7 million, has books, audio visual material, study material for distance learners, toy collections, an Internet café, an advanced security system and a head count system.

The Malangeni sports complex, which Thusi says will be instrumental in “keeping the youth of the community fit and healthy”, comprises change rooms, a combo court, a soccer field and an athletics track.

Both facilities will be accessible to all members of the public.

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