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Libraries bear the brunt of burglaries and vandalism<div>The Tafelsig Library was burgled in the early hours of Sunday, 18 December when intruders gained access to the facility through the roof.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Apart from damage to the roof and computer cables, the thieves made off with a number of items including processing units, SmartCape computers, a monitor, a media screen, a smart television, a desk telephone and a USB speaker.</div><div><br></div><div>The cost of this latest incident is still being calculated.</div><div><br></div><div>‘The unabated onslaught on our libraries cannot continue. Costs linked to vandalism and theft, just since July, will surpass the R2 million mark by the end of this year. This includes the R1 million we’ll spend on security.</div><div><br></div><div>‘We shouldn’t have to spend so much money on securing community assets. These facilities are for the benefit of our residents, where our children come to study, learn and interact with each other. It is deplorable that the criminal acts of a few impact the majority,’ said Councillor Patricia van der Ross, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health.</div><div><br></div><div>Many of the crimes impact on library services, necessitating the temporary closure of the facility, resulting in the unavailability of materials.</div><div><br></div><div>‘For many of our patrons, the library is the only quiet space to study or take a break from life’s stress. It’s not only physical items being stolen, but the thieves also rob our students from important access to resources and the community of their comfort zones,’ said Councillor Van der Ross.<br></div><div><br></div><div><p>Below is a list of incidents in recent months:<br></p><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.3333%;"><strong>Library</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.3333%;"><strong>Date</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.3333%;"><strong>Incident </strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Leonsdale</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">8 December </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Electric box broken into and cables stolen resulting in no electricity. Gutter broken and new razor wire cut.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Brooklyn</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">2022 </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Fence knocked down by a reckless driver giving thieves access to the property. Copper piping stolen, leaving the library and neighbouring clinic without water for more than two days. The library had to close for the duration.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Sir Lowry's Pass</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">18 November</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Electric gate damaged, two flood lights smashed and graffiti on walls.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Melton Rose</p><p> </p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>21 November </p><p> </p><p>13 July </p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Burglary – personal computers stolen and power cables vandalised.</p><p> </p><p>Air conditioner and steel cage stolen.</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Manenberg</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">October </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">The back window and garage door damaged by vandals.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Maitland</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">October </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Cables outside library stolen and currently no light in the evening.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Retreat</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>28 April </p><p>15 and 18 December</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Cables stolen.</p><p>Paving stolen.</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Bellville South</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">26 September </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Copper wires from the caged air conditioner stolen and cables from the Wi-Fi antenna cut.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Delft South</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">16 September </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Burglary – library equipment stolen and damage to ceiling.</p><p>Continuous theft of paving, front replaced with tar.</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Ravensmead</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">16 September </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Cable outside library cut, no service delivery for four days.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Ocean View</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">16 September </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Front door handle and central processing unit stolen. </td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Fish Hoek</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">30 August</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">SmartCape CPU stolen</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Macassar </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">16 August </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Barbed wire fencing stolen.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Valhalla Park</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Three incidents between 12 August and 23 September </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Copper piping at the back of air conditioner removed.</p><p>Gutter at staff entrance cut, used by children to get on to the library roof.</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Masiphumelele</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">28 July</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Back door lock broken, solar panel removed.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Grassy Park </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">21 July </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Stopcock cut in front of library, one metre of copper piping stolen.</p><p> </p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Nyanga</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">17 June</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Armed robbery</td></tr></tbody></table></div><div><br></div><div>‘We’re going to spend money on replacing the stolen items and securing facilities. This is money we could have used for other essential services. There are no winners when libraries are vandalised or burgled. Communities must take ownership of these spaces and work with the City to put an end to these crimes,’ added Councillor Van der Ross.</div><div><br></div><div>Anonymous tip-offs welcomed: call 0800 11 00 77 or the South African Police Service.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>End</strong><br></div><p><br></p>2022-12-19T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#fc0a19bf-6a9b-42af-bc90-8a0d4b9f4eac;L0|#0fc0a19bf-6a9b-42af-bc90-8a0d4b9f4eac|vandalism;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#1f61ec30-8889-4114-8411-a3ee8477bc1b;L0|#01f61ec30-8889-4114-8411-a3ee8477bc1b|Libraries10

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