Protesters torch community library in KZN‚ causing R1.9m in damage

09 July 2018 - 15:30 By Lwandile Bhengu
The remains of the torched library in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, after protesters set fire to it on the night of July 8, 2018.
The remains of the torched library in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, after protesters set fire to it on the night of July 8, 2018.
Image: KZN Arts and Culture Department

Library equipment to the tune of R1.9-million has gone up in flames in Ixopo‚ south-central KwaZulu-Natal.

In a statement on Monday‚ the KZN department of arts and culture condemned the torching of a modular library in KwaNokweja. It has been alleged that residents of the area set the library alight during a service delivery protest in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The library was still under construction and‚ therefore‚ did not have books in it. It did‚ however‚ contain various pieces of electronic equipment.

The modular library‚ which was designed to last 50 years‚ would have housed 3‚000 library books‚ consisted of a study area that would have accommodated up to 100 people at a time and would have had free internet access.

Arts and culture MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi said the project would have helped children in the area advance their knowledge.

“The Nokweja modular library was meant to assist the community and the children of that area to advance their knowledge and afford them access to information‚” Sithole-Moloi said.

The MEC also urged community members to respect government property saying‚ “We call upon all communities to honour and protect government facilities. These facilities are meant to service everyone in the community both young and old.”

Police are investigating a case of arson. No casualties were reported during the incident.


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