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Internet connection and newspapers a mission impossible in some Jozi libraries

Nie Cele



Believe it or not, one of the biggest, well resourced and oldest public library in the City doesn’t have a single daily or weekend latest collection of newspapers.

Perturbed library users say, this has been the case for months now.

City library building is a beautiful, Italianate structure sitting across the road from the ANC’s Luthuli House in the Joburg CBD.

Libraries across the city falls under the Johannesburg Municipality Community Development ambit. In the recent budget speech, the same department was allocated an earth shattering operating budget of R1 Billion, with R538 million allocated for multi-year capital projects.

Tabling his budget in May,Finance Member of the Mayoral Committee Dr Rabelani Dagada, said amongst other things, “An important development in the financial year will be the rolling out of extended hours at ten regional libraries across the city.”

As if that’s not enough, for months in the same library dozens of computers sit idle and gather dust because there is no internet connection.

This publication also visited a Jabavu library in Soweto which finds itself in the same quandary because there is no internet connection on its computers.

Students utilising these libraries are forced to use their laptops and data because the wi-fi connection is very poor, slow and unreliable.

In a list of questions sent to the department, Nobuntu Mpendulo, told this reporter that The challenge experienced with the provision of newspapers is the delay in the Tender process which is currently underway.


“We have subscribed to online direct newspapers and is in the process of activating subscription.”


She also argued that notices were placed in all libraries to inform the public of such.


“The provision of unlimited free internet access has been available and continues, the challenge has been the utilisation of Public computers in the Library due to constant power outages. The problem is currently being attended to and will soon see the Public Computer accessible again,”said Mpendulo.


Pressed about Jabavu? She said, “Due to the major construction happening on Bolani Road from Leballo Street to Koma Road, the fibre network infrastructure has been affected on numerous occasions impacting the provision of network services to all City’s facilities around the area (Including Jabavu Library). The infrastructure has been under close monitoring by the technicians and full services will be resumed as and when the situation permits.”

But insiders and some reliable sources told this newspaper that no one wants to take responsibility.


“This problem was inherited from the previous administration. The current administration has no manpower to correct the situation,” said one of the sources.


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