SA Libraries in the News

No new Library buildings for the Western Cape -


Libraries and archive services will get the biggest chunk of the Cultural Affairs and Sport Department's budget, but not a single library is to be built in the province during the financial year (Cape Argus, 20th June - online story only available to subscribers).  Update:  Story on IOL.

Read the full budget speech of the Western Cape Minister for Cultural Affairs, Sport and Recreation, Sakkie Jenner, here

"The total budget of R296 Million 445 thousand in real terms, when taking CPIX into account, represents a minor increase over last years budget.   

Hierdie begroting sal egter as volg toegeken word:
• R38 miljoen 010 duisend na Administrasie 

• R58 miljoen 267 duisend na Kultuursake  [Cultural Affairs]

• R115 miljoen 290 duisend na Biblioteek- en Argiefdienste  [Libraries and Archives]

• R84 miljoen 878 duisend na Sport en Ontspanning.
[Sport and Recreation]

I do however have to indicate that R79 million 213 thousand of the total amount is conditional grant funding received from national government for the provision of library services and mass participation in the fields of sport and recreation."

  and further on ... 

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport is at the centre of information provision through its library and archives services. An enormous contribution was made in the last financial year through the provision of library material where more than 372 thousand items were processed and added for the 335 library centres in the Western Cape.

The Department’s contribution to the educational needs of learners to assist them with information resources, resulted in purchasing of library material to the value of R37 million, translating to 260 thousand library materials during the last financial year. The emphasis on the purchasing of appropriate reference material will continue this year with the purchasing of copies of a new Afrikaans children’s encyclopaedia, for which there is a dire need in the Western Cape.

The Library Service contributes toward the promotion of indigenous languages. n 2008/09, library services procured 13 thousand 770 copies of indigenous language material and during the current financial year 17 000 copies of 10 indigenous language material will be purchased and the budget will be increased to R634 thousand.

The extension of library facilities in the Western Cape remains a challenge due to inadequate funding. The Department’s key focus is the provision of library facilities in rural areas.

Die afgelope jaar is ‘n bedrag van R2 miljoen oorgedra aan die Drakenstein Munisipaliteit vir die bou van ‘n biblioteek vir die Gouda gemeenskap. Hierdie projek sal binnekort tot voordeel van die Gouda gemeenskap voltooi word. Nogtans moet ons daarop wys dat, gegewe die begrotingsbeperkings, die Departement nie in die MTUR –periode (Mediumtermyn Uitgawe Raamwerk) befondsing beskikbaar het om munisipaliteite te ondersteun in die bou van nuwe biblioteke of die opgradeer van bestaande biblioteekfasiliteite nie
.  (For those who don't read Afrikaans, a rough translation says that R2 million was handed over to the Drakenstein Municipality for the building of a library in Gouda.  This project will be completed shortly.  He then says, that given budgetary constraints, the Department does not have funds to support municipalities in the building or upgrading of library facilities).

The flagship project of the Department for the past five years has been the Wheelie Wagon service. Through this project, library services are extended to remote rural areas. To date, 27 communities have benefited from this service and several more will benefit this year.

The Department will receive R40 million 976 thousand as a conditional grant from the national Department of Arts and Culture for the enhancement of library services in the Western Cape Province. About 74% of the grant funding will be transferred to municipalities to continue with the employment of additional staff at libraries.

The Department’s emphasis towards rural development continues with our rural library connectivity project which is making strong progress. Twenty sites at public libraries are currently being rolled out.

In her State of the Province Address, the honourable Premier, stated that we need to ensure “the extension of rural library services (wheelie wagons), and the improvement of library IT systems, especially increased internet access to facilitate IT skills among young people.”

In order to meet this challenge my department will be rolling out ICT projects in 14 rural areas. Each site will provide for access to a computerized library system as well as public internet access.