23 May 2018

South Africa: Cape Town Libraries Submit Insurance Claims of R1 Million Due to Vandalism

The City of Cape Town says that 110 insurance claims, valued at more than R1m, have been submitted due to public libraries being vandalised.

According to a statement, the Library and Information Service has already submitted insurance claims valued at R1 247 864 in the current financial year - three times higher than the previous financial year.

Of the City's 104 libraries, 17 feature prominently on the list of insurance claims and account for 54% of all claims submitted in the last three financial years, with the most damage occurring at the Bellville, Bishop Lavis, Eerste River, Goodwood, Hangberg and Heideveld libraries.

Gugulethu Library became the latest target on Tuesday when a group of attackers vandalised computer equipment, windows and doors.

Staff and patrons were threatened with physical violence and it is suspected that the group intended to set the building alight, said mayoral committee member of safety and security JP Smith.

'Some of our libraries are under siege'

"I appeal to anyone in the community who knows anything about this incident to please approach the police or the City's enforcement agencies so that we can hold those responsible to account for their actions," he said.

"Some of our libraries are under siege, with thieves stealing anything of value that they can lay their hands on, from air-conditioning units to computers. There is also malicious damage to property, targeting doors, windows and ceilings and, frankly, we are appalled," Smith said.

He explained that the SmartCape facilities were crucial to learners, jobseekers and entrepreneurs.

"To deprive people of these opportunities through cable theft or vandalism, and even the theft of desktop computers, is nothing short of callous," Smith said.

In an effort to highlight the seriousness of the situation, library staff had started engaging with local councilors and sub-councils on the matter.

"In many instances, people know who the criminals are, but are too fearful or apathetic to do anything. Libraries are such important resources in the communities they serve and should be protected at all costs," Smith added.

Source: News24

South Africa

Eskom Scraps 0% Wage Offer as Gordhan Steps in

Power utility Eskom has taken its 0% wage increase off the table and resumed negotiations with unions after an… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 News24Wire. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.