Minster Marais prioritizes internet connectivity in Matzikama and Cederberg
As the Western Cape safely moves forward, Minister Anroux Marais visited libraries in the Matzikama District and Cederberg Municipality last week to assess their readiness as the sector is now reopened.
During the three-day programme, Minister Marais engaged with librarians and staff at the following libraries:
- Klawer Public Library
- Troe Troe Library in Vanrhynsdorp
- Lutzville Public Library
- Uitkyk Library in Lutzville
- Ebenhaeaser Library
- Doringbaai Library
- Vredendal Public Library
- Vredendal North Public Library
- Vanrhynsdorp Public Library
- Nuwerus Public Library
- Bitterfontein Public Library
- Rietpoort Library
- Molsvlei Library
- Stofkraal Library
- Kliprand Library
- Citrusdal Public Library
- Clanwilliam Public Library
- Wupperthal Library
We are proud to announce that all these libraries are open and are safely moving forward in serving their communities in compliance with the compulsory protocols. The friendly staff is eagerly waiting to welcome back their valued users and are equipped with the necessary requirements to navigate through and into the new norm.
While we offer safe library services to the furthest end of the province, there still exists challenges to redress. During Minister Marais’ engagements at the various libraries, the recurring issues noted were internet connectivity and the lack of maintenance at the facilities.
Minister Marais will be engaging with Mayor Mathilda Bains to discuss how best we can collaboratively assist with the internet connectivity at and the maintenance of these very significant facilities, which falls within the ambit of the municipality.
The Ministry also called on the Rural Library Connectivity Progamme (RLCP) within the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport’s Library Services to ascertain how best we could assist in the provision of quality internet access. To date, from the above-mentioned list of sites with possible internet related issues, the RLCP division reported that only four were officially reported, following our internal ICT fault logging process. These four sites are Ebenhaezer Public Library, Rietpoort Public Library, Nuwerus Public Library and Citrusdal Public Library.
The ICT related matter of Citrusdal Public Library has since been resolved, while the other three sites (Ebenhaezer, Rietpoort and Nuwerus Public libraries) were identified as Broadband sites. Our ICT Support Officer has now committed to visit these three sites to do a full site assessment.
All other sites have unfortunately not reported any RLCP related issues to the RLCP Project Coordinator nor via the fault logging process system. However, those sites will be contacted to determine the type of RLCP issues so that it can be dealt with accordingly.
In addition, our RLCP staff have continued to provide remote desktop support during the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, working from home. Now that the critical posts have been approved, Library Services are able to start with the recruitment of the ICT support officer post, responsible for the Matzikama and Cederberg area.
Minister Marais said, “We have a remarkable team in the Western Cape Library Services, who take pride in their significant services and different awareness drives underway with so much love and care and always going the extra mile in decorating their spaces as an optimistic symbol of hope and inspiration. As libraries serve their communities as the source of information and opportunity, it is indeed pivotal to provide access to the internet, particularly as we are now moving into a new virtual norm”.
We thank our Library Service wholeheartedly for their exceptional work done in service of our communities. In difficult times, they continued to promote a culture of reading and indeed became the innovative information hubs of their respective areas, creating the enabling environment needed to live healthier lifestyles in safe environments, more prepared for tomorrow’s economy.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171