International funds sought for library

Port Elizabeth Main Library still closed to public Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
Port Elizabeth Main Library still closed to public
Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality plans to source international funding to refurbish the city’s Main Library, which has been closed for two years.

Mayor Athol Trollip, speaking at a mayoral committee meeting yesterday, said officials would look for the R18-million needed for upgrades outside the city’s budget.

The facility was closed in 2014 due to health and safety concerns arising from water damage.

Officials have determined that nearly R34-million was needed to complete the rectification of the building and return it to its original state.

But only R15-million had been allocated to the repairs so far, leaving an R18-million shortfall.

“We do believe we can identify international funding to upgrade and to maintain this historic building,” Trollip said.

He said the iconic Govan Mbeki Avenue facility needed to be looked after as it was a part of the city’s heritage.

“Access to libraries is also something that has been coming up in almost all our IDP meetings,” he said.

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