R6 Million Mnquma Municipality Library remains a white elephant: DA

NOVEMBER 26, 2014

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday said that a R6-million Rand library in Butterworth in the Mnquma Local Municipality is on the verge of being a white elephant if it is not being utilised.

“I recently submitted questions to the MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Pemmy Majodina, to enquire about the issues surrounding the deserted library in the Mnquma Municipality. The library, which was built seven years ago has been closed for over two years,” said Veliswa Mvenya, the DA’s Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson, in a statement.

“Millions of Rands will be wasted if this facility is not utilized.”

The library was built in 2007 and was only operational between 2010 and 2012.

“According to the MEC, the library was closed due to ‘challenges encountered with the payment of water and electricity’,” said Mvenya. Read the MEC's full respone here.

“I have tried to contact Mr Platta, who is the Director of Community Services in the area, in order to gain clarity on the issue but he is always unavailable.”

She said that comprehensive planning for the maintenance of this library was clearly not prioritized.

“Accurate measures should have been put in place from the onset to ensure that this facility, which cost taxpayers R6 million, is managed efficiently,” explained Mveya.

“The importance of libraries in the upliftment of communities cannot be taken for granted. These facilities play a vital role in the improvement of literacy and education.  It is inconceivable that an entire municipality, which encompasses three towns, is without a library!”

She said the MEC has indicated that she is striving to resolve the issues that have led to the closure of the library in order to ensure that it is functional by January 2015.

“The DA will be monitoring this situation closely and we will hold the MEC accountable if she fails to honour her commitment.”