Cable theft leaves matriculants in the dark

Matriculants had to study on the grass outside the library after cable theft left the facility without electricity. (Photo: Velani Ludidi/GroundUp)
Matriculants had to study on the grass outside the library after cable theft left the facility without electricity. (Photo: Velani Ludidi/GroundUp)

Matric pupils have been studying on the grass outside the Hector Peterson Memorial Library in Lwandle, Strand, after electricity was cut during a burglary.

The library was burgled on Monday for the second time in two weeks.

Cages around the air-conditioning systems were damaged and cables stolen.

GroundUp reported in August that internet cables had been stolen from the same library, resulting in a lack of internet access for users for more than a year.

"We are sitting outside because it's dark inside," said matriculant Steven Phambaniso, who was studying with his friends.

"We cannot borrow books anymore because everything is off inside."

Another pupil, Esihle Spani, said it was hard to study at home because of a lack of space and noise from family members.

"It is difficult to focus at home; the house is small, and everyone is busy with their thing. This is the only library we have."

Children's future at stake

A librarian said the library could not be opened without electricity.

"The alarm is off and we will not be able to monitor users when they walk out with books. There is only one security guard. This week, the electricity was going to be fixed, then the second break-in happened."

Resident Zolile Witbooi said the children's future was at stake.

"We need security 24 hours because the criminality happens at night. The pupils need books for studying or they will fail."

Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, said he did not know when the library would reopen.

"Electricity cable theft has affected the library since 11 October 2019. The library has since not been able to operate fully, but the library hall has been made available for students to study."

He called on residents to assist by reporting damages.

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said police were investigating.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 4016 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
46% - 3727 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 398 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.15
-0.4%
GBP/ZAR
19.70
-0.2%
EUR/ZAR
17.13
-0.1%
AUD/ZAR
11.05
-0.2%
JPY/ZAR
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,829.70
+0.8%
Silver
27.32
+0.1%
Palladium
2,866.50
-2.9%
Platinum
1,247.00
-0.7%
Brent Crude
68.09
-1.3%
Top 40
62,429
+1.2%
All Share
68,375
+1.1%
Resource 10
71,344
+1.9%
Industrial 25
86,645
+0.6%
Financial 15
12,683
+0.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo