Arts and culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa. FILE PHOTO: ANA

VENTERSDORP - Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa officially opened a R14.7 million library in Tshing in Ventersdorp in the North West on Thursday.

The library has an audio visual section catering for the blind, a children's section with a play area and an internet-enabled activity centre.

Speaking at the opening, Mthethwa said libraries are the source of knowledge for any society.

"Anybody who destroys a library, destroys the source of knowledge and the soul for that particular society. Here is a library people of Tshing, we are living it in your hands. We are saying to you protect this library because this is your life, this is the life of your generations and generations to come," he said.

"There is no better way to invest in any society than to ensuring that, that society has the means and the production of knowledge..."

Mthethwa said the department would give conditional grants to the province to ensure that community libraries were built every year and others were upgraded.

The mayor of the Kenneth Kaunda District municipality Barei Mosiane-Segotso appealed to residents not destroyed the library.

"Do not ever burn down this library, your are fortunate that this library is the only one in the North West that caters for the blind, please take care of it," she said.

North West Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs MEC Ontlametse Mochware said the library was built at a cost of R14.7 million and has over 7,000 books.

She also appealed to residents in Tshing not to destroy the library if they are not happy with government service delivery.

African News Agency (ANA)