By Kingsol Chabalala MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport, Arts, Culture and Heritage:
These remarks were delivered today by the DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Kingsol Chabalala MPL at the discovery of thousands of new library books stored in the Vereeniging public Library.
The DA has uncovered massive stockpiles of brand new library books that were supposed to be delivered to community libraries in Emfuleni since 2012, at the Vereeniging public library storage facility.
(Click here to view the images of the new books stored in Vereeniging.)
These books were budgeted for and purchased by the department since the 2011/12 financial year, yet never reached their destinantion.
What we witnessed here today is a gross injustice and human rights violation of Emfuleni’s people. Many residents in the community have written to the DA complaining about the lack of new books and resources at the public libraries.
This begs the question as to why the department would refuse to deliver books it already purchased.
Section 29 of the Constitution guarantees every South African citizen’s right to access to quality education.
The DA believes the non-delivery of these books is a violation of this right.
I will today request the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the series of unfortunate events which lead to valuable and costly resources being hidden in a storage facility.
Earlier this week I submitted questions to the Gauteng MEC for Culture, Sport and Recreation, Molebatsi Bopape, to ascertain the amounts paid, who’s responsible for distribution and why they haven’t been delivered to at libraries across the Emfuleni Local Municipality.
We await the response from the MEC.
The DA will assist the SAHRC with its investigation and we remain hopeful that the recommendations made by the SAHRC will result in the immediate delivery of these books to the people of Emfuleni.
It is unfair to the community that the department has for this long not delivered books to the public libraries.
The DA will continue to defend and protect the rights of all citizens in the Province, and ensure that effective and efficient services are delivered.