I have today submitted a motion to the standing committee on Sports Arts Recreation and Culture demanding the tabling of a detailed report on all challenges facing our libraries in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The recent closure of libraries across the Metro is an indictment on our administration and that of our Province and it is an insult to our communities.
Libraries are a critical tool that can be used to unlock opportunities for all residents, especially our youth, and they should be treated as a service delivery priority.
Three key issues need to be resolved as a matter of urgency:
- The re grading of library staff;
- Ongoing labour dispute relating to overtime; and
- Unfunded mandate.
Our libraries are currently operating with an unfunded mandate from Provincial Government which is placing increasing financial and administrative pressure on the municipality to deliver services.
My ongoing efforts to receive information on our libraries since April this year have been frustrated by officials. Further to these efforts and my motion before the committee, I will be engaging my colleague in Bisho, John Cupido, to raise the matter with MEC Tom.
Our libraries should be moving forward into the digital age of free wi-fi, not cutting back to the dark ages of candle light. We should be expanding opportunity through reading, not limiting opportunity by closing the doors.
The DA will continue to demand better access to opportunity for all residents in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2013/06/we-demand-a-library-report/