The Democratic Alliance (DA) has submitted a written parliamentary question to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Arts and Culture (DoAC) MEC, Hlengiwe Mavimbela, demanding answers as to why a multi-million Rand Ngolokodo modular library – launched within the Nquthu Municipality in 2019 – remains locked and inaccessible to the community. (view here)
The DA is aware that this modular library was officially opened by former MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi more than two years ago in April 2019, when it was formally handed over to the municipality. Yet it is alleged that the local ANC Ward Councillor has deliberately locked the facility and kept the key.
The fully functional R1.7million library has access to water and electricity. It also houses more than 3 000 books and close to R700 000 worth of specialised equipment, all of which has never been used and is instead gathering dust.
Added to this is that staff who were appointed by the municipality for the library – long before the launch date – have been forced to work elsewhere, due to the library remaining locked.
There can be no doubt that the alleged selfish actions of the ANC councillor involved have tremendously disadvantaged the community at large.
The primary purpose of modular libraries is to ensure that people have internet access and so that adults and children have access to books and information for study and other purposes. In failing to provide access to such, the members of this community are being kept at a disadvantage because of ANC internal factional problems.
Equally shocking is that KZN’s Department of Arts and Culture (DoAC) is supposedly aware of the councillor’s action, yet it has failed to inform the province’s Arts and Culture portfolio committee, of which the DA is a member.
That the MEC and her Department have blatantly kept this secret hidden for the past two years is despicable. It is clear that they have tried to pull the wool over the committee’s eyes and they must be held accountable for this.
This is not the first time that this MEC and her Department have come under fire. There are numerous other instances of alleged fraud and corruption, largely exposed by the DA, which still demand answers.
The DA will hold the MEC and her HOD, Mr Chonco, accountable for their actions in concealing this matter and will take the necessary steps, through the portfolio committee to do so.
Above all, we will not rest until this library is immediately opened and made accessible to the community for which it was built.