New library brings locals up to speed

WI-FI ACCESS: Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa. © Unknown
WI-FI ACCESS: Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa. © Unknown

THE GaRankuwa community's hunger for hassle-free access to information received a major boost yesterday with the opening of an R8million community library.

Chief librarian Buzile Makgoba said she was pleased to inform a group of pupils touring the new centre in Zone 2 that from today "library membership will be free".

The 900m2 structure has sections for toddlers, teenagers and adults. The library has also set aside 400m2 for school and community projects - and for study purposes.

The latest newspapers and magazines will provide the community with up-to-date information. There will also be literary programmes organised during school holidays and an Internet service.

The shelves are packed with more than 50000 new books and the walls are fitted with soundproofing to limit noise from outside traffic.

Named after the late principal of GaRankuwa High School, the revered community leader and struggle stalwart Victor Thebe Sifora, the library was described as "a monument to inspiration".

Sifora's daughter, Keitumetse, thanked the community of GaRankuwa and the city of Tshwane for honouring her father for his contribution to the community's educational needs.

Head of South African Post Office Motshwanetsi Lefoka, who completed her high school under Sifora, said Sifora had "always strived for only the best for those truly hungry for education".

Lefoka also said she would provide computers for the library.

Didintle Sello, a grade 12 pupil at the local Modiri Secondary School, gave an inspirational acceptance speech on behalf of her fellow pupils, saying "only knowledge would free them from the shackles of poverty".

She said many people had paid with their lives for the freedom "misused" by young people today.

"Our peers engage in immoral activities in the name of a freedom which was bought with blood and immense suffering. This library will mean nothing if it stands empty while we ravage ourselves with drugs.

"Let this library be a light on our path to success. This library should be an arsenal of weapons for success, not just another structure in our neighbourhood."

Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa said the library would be one of 12 wi-fi spots providing local residents access to the Internet by the end of December.