Library equipment valued at almost R300 000 stolen

Several libraries across Gauteng have been affected by theft. File photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation and Member of the Provincial Legislature, Paul Willemburg, recently released a statement about break-ins at libraries. He said that during the past three years such break-ins had resulted in the theft of equipment to the value of R286 556.

Equipment to the value of approximately R47 506 was stolen from three local libraries – the Desmond Tutu Library, the Krugersdorp Library and the Muldersdrift Library. The equipment consisted of an all-in-one computer, two scanners, one laptop and one desktop.

“The DA is deeply concerned about the 12 break-ins that have occurred at libraries across the province since the 2014/ 2015 financial year,” he said in the statement.

He went on to say that although Information and Communication Technologies equipment to the value of almost R300 000 was stolen, six computers and five flat screens valued at R45 000 were recovered.

Also Read: Suspects arrested for buying stolen property

“This disadvantages our youth, especially those living in townships, as many rely on library equipment to complete school assignments and to search for job opportunities,” Paul said.

Some of the other municipal libraries include those in the City of Ekurhuleni, and the Emfuleni, Merafong and Lesedi Municipalities.

“It is unacceptable that these facilities are not provided with sufficient security to protect the resources meant to uplift and educate communities, especially the youth and those seeking job opportunities,” he said.

“The DA believes that residents have a responsibility to look after the libraries within their communities. They must work with the police and report any thefts which may occur at their libraries,” Paul continued.

“Communities must refrain from purchasing stolen library equipment, as in so doing, they are creating a market for these goods.”

The DA is calling on the Department to provide adequate security at all libraries, so that these valuable resources can be protected.

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  AUTHOR
Alanicka Lotriet
Journalist

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