Outrage over prolonged closure of Bellville library
Cape Town - Bellville residents are outraged over the prolonged closure of the Bellville Library due to a centralised air-conditioning fault.
The library was closed on January 6 after the air-conditioning system was vandalised two years ago. Residents say they were not given a timeline for the repair of the fault.
Resident Louise Miller said since January 7 she had attempted to access the library about five times only to be told it was closed.
“No one could give me an explanation or reason or advise when it will open again. On Wednesday I finally got hold of a Mrs Bessinger at the library who advised that their aircons were not working and that it's a long process for repairs as a tender has to go out and be approved and it's quite a costly exercise.
“My question to her was that surely a few fans placed on the library floor will be of big help, and her response was that only the staff have fans. So for almost two months and who knows how much longer, the staff will get paid for doing nothing at the library,” she said.
Another resident, Grace Kabwe, said the closure of the library had inconvenienced many as it was a place that accommodated every age group. She said with the reopening of school this will have devastating implications.
“My sister used to organise transport with other parents to drop her children at the library where they would do their homework and she would pick them up when she was done with work.The children were able to use school books and explore other books. So with the library closed for this long, that’s learning being prohibited for the children, and now they are more focused on cellphones and online things,” she said.
Mayoral member for community safety and health Zahid Badroodien said the library would be closed indefinitely and would reopen when the air conditioning system had been repaired. Badroodien said while the City considered the “Drop and Collect” service, ventilation would still be a problem.
“The Library and Information Service liaised with the City’s Facilities Management Department with regards to addressing this issue. The City has been in process to get a tender in place and the last communication from the relevant department has indicated that this will happen within the next few weeks. The latest communication indicates that a clarification meeting with the contractor will happen on February 26,” he said.