CAPE TOWN - Masiphumelele Library in Hout Bay got some TLC and an extension for members of the community.
Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB), the Rotary Club of Newlands (RCN) and members of the Turok family officially opened the centre yesterday.
The latest extension includes a reading room and study area. This will enable small group teachings, group lectures and study space which will be accessible for hours.
The new centre will also have a supervisor on board which will ensure there are teaching programmes with a professional administrative service where qualifications will be issued upon completion of programmes for adult students.
Public Affairs and Communications Manager at CCPB, Priscilla Urquhart,said they were deeply committed to empowering local communities through education and they were delighted to have had the opportunity to play a role in enhancing the Masiphumelele library with this dynamic facility for the community.
The Masiphumelele library is managed by the City of Cape Town and was built by MasiCorp in 2003, a non-profit organisation, as a satellite of the Fish Hoek Library and was first expanded in 2009.
CCPB, along with Exclusive Books and private donors, contributed funds to the project,while the construction was overseen and managed by the RCN. This outreach centre focused on facilities for young learners and youth.
The late Ben Turok, anti-apartheid activist and former MP and his wife, Mary, along with seed donors and former and current librarians, identified a need for a premises for an adult reading room and educational outreach centre.
Turok donated R1 million towards the extension.
“Adults never had a space of their own – going through newspapers and magazines, studying, reading always with children running around and no chance of a quiet space. The gap is filled by this new beautiful room,” said Sue Alexander, retired Masiphumelele librarian.
John Winship, of RCN, said: “Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, once again, played a vital role in supporting our efforts in developing the adult educational outreach centre and providing the balance of funding.
“Together, we have developed this facility that will serve and uplift the community for many years to come.”
Winship said the contribution made by the Turok family strongly shows the couple’s desire to improve educational opportunities for adults in Masiphumelele.
“The Turok family hope that this will be a useful facility for the residents of Masiphumele – a safe space for reflection, learning and lively debate during these challenging times,” Winship added.
Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross, said it was an honour to be carrying out Ben Turok’s vision.
“The space will greatly enrich the lives of residents and I encourage our patrons over 18 years of age to utilise the library services and become actively involved in programmes designed especially for them.
“The different skills workshops that will be presented in the new centre will lead to the development and empowerment of the community,” van der Ross said.