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Mayor Mashaba announces extension of operating hours at libraries Print E-mail
05 July 2017

In another major development, operating hours at 10 of the City of Johannesburg’s 57 public libraries have been extended by three hours.

The libraries – which used to open at 9am and close at 5pm on weekdays – would now remain open until 8pm, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba announced at the Jabavu Library in Western Central Jabavu, Soweto, on Tuesday July 4.

The move followed the unprecedented launch of a pilot project expanding operating hours at Princess Crossing Clinic in Roodepoort in Region C in November last year. The programme has since been rolled out to five more public primary healthcare facilities across the city.

The libraries whose hours have been extended are Jabavu, Sandton, Orange Farm, Ennerdale, Ivory Park North, Florida, Protea North, Yeoville, City Library and Diepsloot.

The libraries will also remain open until 5pm on Saturdays, instead of closing at 1pm. The launch followed a pilot project that saw an extra 2 000 people taking advantage of the extended hours at the 10 libraries.

During his address at the launch, Mayor Mashaba said the move demonstrated his administration’s commitment to uplifting the poorest and most vulnerable communities through education and access to information.

He appealed to communities to safeguard the libraries for future generations and encouraged them to use the facilities to empower themselves and their children through education. This, in turn, would help South Africans defend democracy, he said.

The Jabavu Library, which opened its doors in 2008, is one of the City’s libraries that house the Massive Open Online University (MOOV), which has to date provided skills training to 15 000 citywide.

“We are committed to rebuilding your trust in government and have tailored our policy and budget offerings to focus on the poorest and most vulnerable of our residents,” he said.

The Mayor said the longer hours would make libraries more accessible and help bridge the knowledge gap. “This will go a long way in ensuring that our youth, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, have safe learning and studying environment.

“We are taking bold steps to ensure that the great City of Johannesburg moves forward into an era of sustainable, positive change by building caring, safe and secure communities for all our residents,” Mayor Mashaba said.

“For a long time, residents have been forced to choose between survival and dignity, and we are working to ensure that you no longer have to make this choice. The extended operating hours at our libraries are also aligned to our plan to create a professional civil service that serves the residents of Johannesburg with pride.”

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba applauded the public for their overwhelming response to the pilot project. She said the extended hours would help Johannesburg achieve its ambition of being a truly Smart City.

Ward Councillor Sabatha Banda commended the move, saying extending library hours would help empower, educate and transform communities.

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