No internet for over a year at this Western Cape public library

accreditation
"The Telkom line providing internet access for SmartCape computers [City run computers] was stolen. Due to continuous cable theft in the area, Telkom advised that they will not reinstate services"
"The Telkom line providing internet access for SmartCape computers [City run computers] was stolen. Due to continuous cable theft in the area, Telkom advised that they will not reinstate services"

For over a year, computers for public access at the Hector Peterson* Memorial Library in Lwandle, Strand, have not been operating.

The computers were an important resource for learners from three high schools and five primary schools in the area. Learners, as young as 13, now walk over five kilometres, crossing a railway line, or pay R11 taxi fare to go to Somerset Library and Strand Library.

Resident Zolile Witbooi said they have reported the problem countless times to the Cape Town municipality. He said the library is also too small for the community.

The library has five computers for the public. It has no wifi option for people’s smartphones and laptops, unlike the Somerset West and Strand libraries.

A librarian who spoke on condition of anonymity said: "There are unemployed people who come here and students who wish to apply for tertiary [education]. We turn them all away because the computers are off. The library is small and needs to be extended. It is in a big yard, but the City is not willing to extend it."

Without an internet connection the computers are all but useless. The operating software requires an internet login.

Mayco Member for Community Services Councillor Zahid Badroodien said: "The Telkom line providing internet access for SmartCape computers [City run computers] was stolen. Due to continuous cable theft in the area, Telkom advised that they will not reinstate services, and this forced the City to look at an alternative solution, such as upgrading a radio connection to allow the SmartCape services to be added to it."

"Regrettably there is no other short term solution available due to the excessive-high data costs associated with 3G, and ongoing vandalism and theft of infrastructure. Due to financial constraints, no extensions [of the library] are on the cards for the near future."

*The sign board at the library, the Western Cape government listing and the official email address for the library has this spelling of the name. The correct spelling is: Hector Pietersen (who was killed in the Soweto uprising).


Published originally on GroundUp .

© 2019 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Chat back:

Share your story with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

Unlock the power of a library from your phone

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can 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. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 1380 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
50% - 6475 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
36% - 4756 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 460 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.17
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.69
+0.6%
Rand - Euro
16.64
+0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.51
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.7%
Gold
1,788.06
-0.1%
Silver
20.36
+0.3%
Palladium
2,278.00
-0.5%
Platinum
962.50
+0.2%
Brent Crude
99.60
+2.2%
Top 40
64,447
-0.3%
All Share
71,141
-0.2%
Resource 10
65,379
-0.7%
Industrial 25
86,666
-0.5%
Financial 15
16,085
+0.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE