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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE

The following speech was delivered by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the opening of the R78 million Kuyasa Regional Library in Khayelitsha with donors, the Carnegie Corporation, today 17 March 2016. Read more below:

Good afternoon, goeie dag, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

It gives me great pleasure to address you all on this wonderful occasion for the City of Cape Town, our generous donors, and most importantly for the community.In the City of Cape Town we are committed to providing residents with quality facilities and building an opportunity city by connecting residents to learning resources.

Investing in educating our children is one of the greatest investments we can make.

By providing them with access to learning materials and other resources, we can set them on a path to success.

We are very fortunate to have a partner like the Carnegie Corporation who understands the far-reaching impact such an investment can have.

I am truly grateful for the generosity of the Carnegie Corporation and their faith in our shared vision to improve the lives of our residents and make progress possible, together.

The Carnegie Corporation has provided the funding for world-class book collections and ICT equipment for both the Harare and Kuyasa libraries, and they have also provided grants for the Central Library.

Their contribution to the Kuyasa Library amounts to R17 million, while collectively their donations to this library and the Harare and Central libraries amounts to $7,5million (more than R112,5million).

With the help of the Carnegie Corporation and the German Development Bank, we have been able to bring a state-of-the-art library to this community.

Through funding from the National Government via an Urban Settlements Development Grant and City funding, over R78 million has been invested into this community through the construction of the new library.

The German Development Bank provided funding of €50 000 (approximately R850 000).

This financial support was used for the overall planning of the precinct around the station and both sides of the railway line and the Environmental Impact Assessment.

The Solomon Mahlangu Hall is in the process of being upgraded at a cost of approximately R8,6 million, which includes offices, parking space, and a 5-a-side artificial grass sports field.

This multifunctional building, which now houses the library, will accommodate the Subcouncil 24 offices and retail space, all in close proximity to the public transport interchange.

The Kuyasa Library will contribute greatly towards making this Kuyasa Station Precinct an attractive, vibrant and safe urban node.

The library boasts 35 SmartCape computers with free internet access, an extensive book collection with books in isiXhosa, Afrikaans and English, audio-visual materials, and world-class IT equipment.

More than 2 500 libraries have been opened in the United States thanks to funding from the Carnegie Corporation.

It is indeed very exciting that in Cape Town, the Kuyasa Library can benefit from the Carnegie Corporation’s outreach and support for educational and social initiatives and facilities.

Libraries have become more than just quiet spaces to read as we move with the digital era to create innovative spaces where children can access endless sources of information, learn new skills, and develop their ideas.

The building also incorporates environmentally sustainable features such as photovoltaic panels on the rooftop to reduce grid reliance during the day and under-floor heating via a heat exchanger.

This opening coincides with South African Library Week, and it is indeed fitting that this year’s theme is #Libraries4lifelonglearning.

During national Library Week, the City is hosting various special programmes at libraries across the city for all ages, including storytelling, arts and crafts, anti-drug talks with teenagers, and literacy and employment preparation workshops.

So I encourage all residents to visit their local library and learn something new.

In closing, my heartfelt gratitude goes to our donors. Thank you for your part in this wonderful investment into our community, and in the future of our residents.

I want to encourage the community, in particular the learners, to make optimal use of this facility and its resources.

You have the best learning materials here, free of charge, so use these resources to fulfil your dreams.

Once again, thank you to everyone who made this possible. It was a long and challenging road, but I think we can all share a sense of pride and joy in the result of our labours.

We ask that the community look after this library, take pride in it, and make sure that it stays as beautiful as it is so that it can be enjoyed by many generations to come.

Let us continue to make progress possible together.

Maak vooruitgang moontlik. Tesame.

Senza inkqubela yenzeke. Sisonke.

Thank you, baie dankie, enkosi.

God Bless.

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