New adult-learning centre for Masiphumelele

The reading corner where adults can find some peace and quiet.

Masiphumelele library now has an extra room that will serve as a dedicated adult-learning centre.

The centre was officially opened by the family of the late anti-apartheid activist Ben Turok, the Rotary Club of Newlands and members of a beverage bottler and distributor.

Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Patricia van der Ross, said Mr Turok had donated R1 million to the building of the room, stipulating that it should be used as an adult-learning centre.

He had wanted to leave a legacy for the community that would lead to its ongoing upliftment, especially the elders, she said.

Following Mr Turok’s death, his widow, Mary, honoured his wishes and continued with the endeavour, which was managed by the Rotary Club.

The reading room and study area are suited to small-group teaching and lectures, and there is an after-hours study area.

The Masiphumelele library, which is managed by the City, was built by MasiCorp, a local NPO, in 2003, as a satellite of the Fish Hoek library. It was expanded in 2009.

Retired Masiphumelele librarian, Sue Alexander, said adults in the community had never had a place of their own where they could go through newspapers and magazines, study and read.

“There are always children running around and no chance of a quiet space. The gap is filled by this new beautiful room,” she said.

Rotarian John Winship said the significant contribution by the Turok family showed their desire to improve educational opportunities for adults in Masiphumelele.

Ms Van der Ross said the library was running book-club sessions and future plans included community workshops and programmes to enhance adult development.

Some of the books in the library.
Masiphumelele library has a new dedicated adult-learning centre.