The City of Cape Town is urging the public to help stop the ongoing vandalism at its libraries. The desperate call follows a series of attacks at facilities in recent weeks. According to the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community services and Health, Zahid Badroodien at least seven libraries have been targeted in areas such as Retreat, Strand, Wynberg and Delft.
“In a span of two days I received information about Durbanville, Weltevreden and Wynberg library being vandalized and Ocean View library needing to close due to shots being fired in that community and ongoing protest action,” explained Badroodien.
“It’s extremely heartbreaking because these libraries are in communities where the resources are needed and more often than not these libraries are the only safe spaces that these areas have especially for the children,” added Badroodien.
The municipality said that a R5,000 reward was on offer for information that could lead to an arrest or conviction.
“These criminalities are becoming more and more regular in our communities unfortunately and the acts are becoming more brazen with each passing day,” stated Badroodien.
Last month in Strand, one library was gutted by a fire, with insurance claims amounting to over R14 million. Badroodien stated the blaze was caused by a flare being detonated through the roof.
Two weeks ago, criminals returned to the damaged building where security guards were threatened at gunpoint, and held hostage while thieves ransacked what was left in the facility.
According to Badroodien thugs steal ‘whatever they can get their hands on’.
However, Badroodien has eluded to a new safety plan that the municipality are working on to ensure that with the help of the communities they are able to secure the premises of the library 24 hours a day.
“I’m very excited to pilot that project in the next coming months especially in our volatile areas,” added Badroodien.