Wednesday, December 21, 2022

CoCT condemns burglaries and vandalism at its libraries

The City of Cape Town has condemned the theft and vandalism at its libraries.

This comes after Tafelsig Library in Mitchell’s Plain was burgled in the early hours of Sunday, when intruders gained access to the facility through the roof.

Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross said apart from damage to the roof and computer cables, the thieves made off with a number of items including processing units, SmartCape computers, a monitor, a media screen, a smart television, a desk telephone and a USB speaker.

The cost of this latest incident, says van der Ross, is still being calculated.

PICTURE -Facebook: Read to Rise: Tafelsig Library

Two weeks ago, Leonsdale Library was also vandalised with the electric box broken into and cables stolen resulting in no electricity. The gutter was also broken and new razor wire cut.

Van Der Ross said since July, the City saw a loss of about R2 million on vandalism and theft at its public libraries.

“The unabated onslaught on our libraries cannot continue. Costs linked to vandalism and theft, just since July, will surpass the R2 million mark by the end of this year. This includes the R1 million we’ll spend on security.”

“We shouldn’t have to spend so much money on securing community assets. These facilities are for the benefit of our residents, where our children come to study, learn and interact with each other. It is deplorable that the criminal acts of a few impact the majority,’ said Patricia van der Ross, Mayco Member for Community Services and Health.

She said this hampers public’s access to materials at public libraries.

“Many of the crimes impact on library services, necessitating the temporary closure of the facility, resulting in the unavailability of materials.

“For many of our patrons, the library is the only quiet space to study or take a break from life’s stress. It’s not only physical items being stolen, but the thieves also rob our students from important access to resources and the community of their comfort zones,’ said Van der Ross.

The Mayco member urged communities to report crime.

‘’We’re going to spend money on replacing the stolen items and securing facilities. This is money we could have used for other essential services. There are no winners when libraries are vandalised or burgled. Communities must take ownership of these spaces and work with the City to put an end to these crimes,’’ added Patricia van der Ross, Mayco Member for Community Services and Health.


Done by: Mitchum George

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