The Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral Committee on Wednesday 25 October gave it’s support to the recommendation that the Main Library be repaired at a cost of R33 975 594.73.
The Main Library has been closed since the Municipality temporarily closed the Govan Mbeki Avenue building on Thursday, 11 September 2014 so that necessary repair and maintenance work can be undertaken, as a continuation of previous repairs undertaken. See: Temporary Closure of Main Municipal Library.
The building was officially opened in 1902 and is well regarded as a fine example of Victorian Gothic architecture. The terra-cotta façade was manufactured in England and the Sicilian made marble statue of Queen Victoria was erected and unveiled in 1903.
The library had humble beginnings back in 1844 and begun as the Port Elizabeth News Society, there was only a small collection of books and a large variety of English magazines, London newspapers and the main South African paper.
At the time of the shutdown in 2014 an amount of R15 Million was allocated for the repairs – new estimates place the cost of repair at R33 975 594.73 leaving a shortfall of over R18 Million.
In approving the recommendation to commence with repairs Executive Mayor Athol Trollip was confident in saying; “We believe that we can