Extending library hours can help the city create much needed jobs in Ekurhuleni

Extending library hours can help the city create much needed jobs in Ekurhuleni

As the failing ANC-led coalition government continues to drag its feet in implementing the extension of library hours in the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE), the Democratic Alliance (DA) believes that the city is missing a great opportunity to create jobs for young people.

The DA tabled a motion in council in January this year, and having been given six months to report to council on how the department of Sport, Heritage, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SHRAC) would implement the extension of library hours in Ekurhuleni; MMC for Community Services, Cllr Dorah Mlambo is yet to give a clear direction on how the motion would be implemented.

It is the view of the DA in Ekurhuleni that extending library hours will contribute towards job creation among the youth in the city. The DA notes that overall the unemployment rate in Ekurhuleni is around 28,8 percent, which is at least two percent higher than the national average and youth unemployment is roughly 36,9 percent.

With the unemployment rate in mind, the DA has spoken to a number of professionals within the Library and Information Services Sector who spoke about ways extending library hours can result in creating jobs among the youth.

Watch the DA tabling a motion on extending library hours

While the DA understands that labour brokers are the main reason libraries restrict learning and reading times, the party believes that by employing young people willing to work after hours to gain work experience.

Extending library hours will mean that CoE becomes more creative in addressing the issue of unemployment in the city; not only will it be a necessary move to deliver an essential service of education, it will be a ground breaking move in addressing unemployment and empowerment.

We live in a world where getting permanent employment requires some experience, this is where extending library hours will help address the issue. Although jobs offered to the youth will be EPWP jobs, the DA believes that the skills young people will be learning will empower them to be more marketable for permanent positions.

The DA believes in cities which are able to play a key role in economic growth by exploring all avenues at the disposal of the local economy; and the party strongly believes that extending library hours will play a great role in developing the local economy.