Philippi library opens

2015-10-01 06:00
Patricia De Lille, executive mayor for the City of Cape Town, Anroux Marais, MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport, Kumbula Macilikisehe, librarian and Alderman Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member of community services and special during the launch

Patricia De Lille, executive mayor for the City of Cape Town, Anroux Marais, MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport, Kumbula Macilikisehe, librarian and Alderman Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member of community services and special during the launch

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The launch of the relocated and improved former Crossroads Library, which is now based in Philippi Village was met with mixed reactions on Tuesday.

Patricia De Lille, executive mayor for the City of Cape Town, who officially made the launch, described it as “fantastic”, but it soon came to light that some residents had a different take to the idea.

De Lille indicated that the issue of distance to the library and “politics” were among other things that residents opposing the relocation raised.

“This is fantastic. We are very excited about the new location as it is with the City’s strategic objective to build an opportunity city which encourages meaningful public private partnerships and creates the enabling conditions for economic development and job creation. The relocation provides a safer and more attractive environment for library users, a further testament to the city’s commitment to building and inclusive and caring city. Since 2011, City libraries have been under threat from burglaries, vandalism and armed robberies,” she said.

There will be security 24 hours and also access will be controlled.

“We are confident that the community will welcome the bigger and improved facility which is now in a safer environment. I would like to encourage children and young people to read as much as they can as this will set a firm foundation for their education,” she added.

The mayor’s curiosity was attracted to a book titled “The dictionary of Politics” and vowed to take it for a reading.

The library is the old cement factory, which has been transformed into a dynamic multi-million rand, integrated development funded by the Bertha Foundation.

The launch was also attended by Anroux Marais, MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport and Alderman Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services.

Marais said research has shown that the use of public libraries can lead to improved educational outcomes and attainment levels.

“Making use of the services at our libraries also contributes to increased levels of literacy and information competence. Libraries, including this beautiful one, promote literacy. Whether it is reading or writing, literacy is an outlet to an untouchable world: the imagination.

Not only is literacy a basic human right, it is a fundamental building block for learning as well as personal empowerment tool,” Marais said.

A community based organisation, Ikamva Labantwana Bethu and learners from Imbasa Primary School gave it a thumbs up.

Siviwe Dlukwana of Ikamva Labantwana Bethu said the old library which was at Crossroads was a target for robberies as learners and residents were robbed on their way to and from the library.

“We are very happy, because it is very different from the old library. It is safer and has so many resources that are needed. There are a lot of robberies that took place on that library where learners and residents were robbed. Sometimes thugs would rob inside the library. We are so excited. I understand that some residents are not happy about the relocating of the library, but I think there should be a meeting where they will be told about the robberies and other bad things about the old library. It is not even far from the community as some claim,” Dlukwana said.

Zimbili Tshangela, Grade 7 learner from Imbasa Primary School, said the library is a good thing that has happened to the learners and the community

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