THE Nelson Mandelas Bay Municipality cannot say how much money is allocated to each of the city’s 23 libraries each year – and cannot even confirm what the total annual budget for library services is.
Although the funds that keep libraries operational come from the pockets of ratepayers and taxpayers, information on how much money our libraries get – and how this budget has either increased or dropped over the past five years – was not available this week.
However municipal spokesman Ongama Mtimka said the municipality received an annual subsidy from provincial government which was used to buy books.
Mtimka said a tender went out every three years for the supply of the different categories of items, such as children’s fiction and non-fiction and adult fiction. Once the tender is awarded, they ordered from the suppliers who have been appointed.
“Fines and all other charges such as photocopying go into municipal coffers as income from libraries.”
The Municipal Finance Management Act did not allow for this income to be used to buy new books.