Cape Town: Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor says communities should help to safeguard national assets, especially those that aim to empower and educate the nation.
Speaking during the Governance and Administration Cluster media briefing in Parliament on Tuesday, the minister lamented the fact that property, including libraries, got destroyed during violent protests.
A senior official in the Department of Arts and Culture revealed that up to seven libraries were destroyed in various parts of the country mostly during service delivery protests.
Provinces spent more than R407 million on public libraries, while municipalities spent just over R1 million in 2011. National government invested over R569 million in public libraries. There are about 1 408 public libraries in the country.
“This is really an asset that we need to protect as communities. It’s always shocking to see people torching our libraries and it is something that we need to stop and ensure it doesn’t happen,” Minister Pandor said.
Today’s briefing follows the State of the Nation Address delivered by President Jacob Zuma on 13 February.
In his speech in Parliament, President Zuma condemned the use of violence during service delivery protests, saying people had the right to protest, peacefully and unarmed.
“When protests threaten lives and property and destroy valuable infrastructure intended to serve the community, they undermine the very democracy that upholds the right to protest,” said the President.
Source: South African Official News