Library computers dysfunctional and detectives are still in darkness

2018-04-17 16:02
The path that links Khan Road to Mayfair Road in Northdale.

The path that links Khan Road to Mayfair Road in Northdale. (Kerushun Pillay)

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Most of the computers available for the public at the Bessie Head Library are said to be broken — and the ones that do work are “pretty much dysfunctional”.

This severely affects academics and students, since the library is one of just five with legal deposit status, meaning a copy of every South African publication is housed there, making it useful for those compiling work.

Disgruntled users of the computer room — most of whom are students — told The Witness that the computers were in a “deplorable” state.

“The computers are used by the public and Unisa students in particular for research purposes and they have been in a deplorable state for years now. Each year is worse than the last,” said a frequent user of the computers.

“I have made attempts to meet with the [library] manager ... and spoken to the principal librarian ... and from what I gather they are waiting for the municipality to respond to their many requests for repairs to the computers,” he said.

Computer users said the computers that were working functioned poorly, and were too slow to get any work done.

“We as students need this library. Some of us don’t have these resources available at all times so we rely on the library.”

• A pedestrian pathway that links Khan Road to Mayfair Road in Northdale has degraded to being “unrecognisable,” residents say.

The long pathway was once fully concrete, but building developments and general neglect from Msunduzi have seen it degrade to the point where the thick bush that flanks it makes it difficult to walk on, residents said. They said the pathway was a useful shortcut for residents to get from residential areas to nearby shops and schools.

“When it rains now it’s impossible to walk here. It used to have concrete steps and everything, but it’s been neglected for years,” one resident said.

• The detective branch at Pietermaritzburg (Loop Street) police station is still without power, The Witness understands. It was reported last week that the branch was plunged into darkness, apparently due to a problem with illegal connections by nearby businesses.

Insiders said this holds up their entire operation, and they are unable to process documents or check on cases.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha did not respond to queries on these problems.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  witness warriors

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