The City of Cape Town has offered a reward of R5,000 in an effort to bring library vandals to book.
This after several break ins at facilities in recent weeks.
At least seven libraries were targeted in areas such as Delft South, Lwandle, Macassar, Retreat, Suider Strand, Weltevreden and Wynberg.
City’s Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien said final damage assessments are still pending, however initial estimates point to losses of more than R100 000.
“The continued theft and vandalism at our libraries is worrying as criminals show no respect for their community and municipal services. Vandalism has a domino effect as it could take months to repair the damage and to get all the services back in operation. The net result is limited or no access to safe study spaces for our patrons, but while also robbing them of opportunities to use the internet facilities at our libraries,” said Badroodien.
The Suider Strand Library building burned down at the end of February, and the insurance payments amounted to R14,5 million, which included the building, library materials and furniture.
“And in its already damaged state, during the early hours of 15 March 2021, criminals returned to the facility. Our security officers were held at gun point by five male suspects. They were kept hostage for about 45 minutes in the kitchen. The suspects took a fridge, loose scrap and broke a tap in the kitchen. Initial assessments indicated a replacement value of R4 600.”
In a separate incident at Macassar Library the entire fence was stolen. The cost of replacing the fence is approximately R72 000.