Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Speaker notes of the MEC for Sport , Arts and Culture Ms Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba at the Opening of the Moabi Sebotlane Kitchin District Library and District Office in Kuruman on the 23 April 2019

Programme Director
Executive Mayor of John Taolo Gaetsewe Ms Sofia Mosikatsi
Mayor of the  Ga Segonyane Municipality Mr Neo Masegela
Kgosi Jantjie
Councillors of the Ga Segonyane Municipality
Family Members of the Kitchin Family
Head of Department Ms Ruth Palm
Community Members from Kuruman and surrounding areas
Dumelang , Goeie Middag , Good Afternoon , Molweni

It is both a singular honour and privilege for me to celebrate with you the joy and pride on the official opening of the M S Kitchin District Office and   Library. This event is a momentous occasion for the community of  Kuruman as the ANC led government is here to ensure that we Grow South Africa Together.

This contemporary facility marks a milestone and an achievement which the community can now benefit from with regard to information and service delivery  services that, comparatively speaking, is of such a standard that it is the first dual facility where both our offices and library are on the same premises.

Ladies and Gentlemen, at this point it is apt to note that this wonderful facility was named in memory of M S Kitchin. We are naming this facility after a man who was a poet and author by profession and who mainly wrote in Tswana. He was renowned for the promotion of the Tswana language and the book Boswa jwa Puo is testament to this. The book has been useful and an appreciated addition to Tswana literature. Mr Moabi S. Kitchin, had an extra ordinary ability for Tswana and have contributed tremendously to the fluency and idiomatic quality of the language. So it is thus an honour and privilege to have a facility of this nature named after an individual was an avid writer and extremely passionate in the development and promotion of a language which is the predominate in John Taolo Gaetsewe

A library is such an important resource for learning, especially for a community that had been deprived of all the necessary services. It is often said that the “library is the heart of a society”, I consider it more accurately portrayed as “the brain”. It is the memory. It is the trajectory that illuminates the mind. In short a library is indispensible to the intellectual growth of a community, especially our children.

Since one can never have too much knowledge, learning is a continuing process throughout life and libraries provide the tools to enlighten the mind. The ideal library caters for all ages and a variety of patrons, from those who are just making a quick stop to check out material to those spending hours utilizing all that a library has to offer. This library is precisely designed to cater for a wide range of users

Programme Director, as we are striving to build a developmental state with positive values, it is important for us to create a learning nation. A Learning nation is a winning nation and reflecting on our past, we are winners and true champions of democracy. This official opening of the M S Kitchin District Office and  Library bears testimony to the fact that, as a united nation, we are reaping the rewards of democracy under the custodianship of the African National Congress led Government. In spite of all the challenges we face, the political will of the ANC is constant in its genuine endeavour to uplift the quality of life of all our people. A nation that loves to read and write and that should have easy access to information to improve the quality of their lives.

As part of a common national effort, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture will do its part to create access to a rich and productive cultural life for our youth and all our people. As part of our efforts to bring the arts to all our people, we shall continue to ensure that community libraries are built throughout our beloved Province.

Programme director it is hoped that, through this modern facility, we will cultivate and inspire a new culture of reading and writing and expand the horizon of the community and our children beyond the ordinary. We would expect that out of this community shall emerge leading figures in science and engineering, professors, astronauts, pilots and perhaps MEC’s or even a Premier!

As soon as one steps into a library, a world of information is available at your finger tips. Whether it is a school or community or district library, it is the most valuable resource for knowledge and education.

For me the library is at the heart of any society, and particularly a developing nation. Here we have assembled the wisdom of the past, the achievements of the present and our aspirations for the future.

This library is surely a practical demonstration of democracy’s faith in acquiring knowledge, not as an end in itself, but as part of a continuous and life-long process of learning.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a library enshrines the achievements of our common humanity and continually renews and refreshes the mind and spirit by the provision of books for pleasure and relaxation, as well as for learning.

And here we have a library designed to be welcoming to all who enter, a user-friendly building which provides for the community not only the most modern equipment for the access of knowledge, but the comfort and convenience of well-designed facility, that encourages learning and relaxation.

Its architecture, designed as a modern beacon, was conceived to create a profound, safe and welcoming space for the officials of the Department as well as for children and the community. It was built to serve, and to re-connect them with society.

This structure is beautiful and special, but it is much more than a building filled with shelves of books and desks for officials. For the young people and the community members who will find their way here, these books will allow them to dream and envision a better future.

Programme director, a library is a place where we can move away from the noise of our demanding lives and study in quietness, peace and comfort.

The printed book is essential to our understanding of ourselves and our heritage, and to the heritage which we in turn shall bequeath to future generations.

And in celebrating books we celebrate libraries, the place where they find their natural home and where they are loved, revered, cared for and used with the highest respect and delight.

The Kuruman community and surrounding areas are now fortunate enough to have what must be one of the most modern and technically best-equipped libraries in the province. The fact that it is situated at the District Office should serve as a vital link between  the Department and community whom we serve.

Ladies and gentlemen, despite all the technical advances which enable scientific knowledge to be collected, classified or disseminated by electronic means, the library remains what the derivation of the word suggests: A place set apart to contain books for reading, study or reference’. I have loved books since early childhood.

Even to take one down from the shelf is for me an anticipation of joy. The reason for this library to be digitally operated will form a direct link between new technology, and how technology can be infused with our books to take reading to a higher level.

It will be a tragic day for mankind if books, like so many old churches, become objects of interest only to antiquarians or those with eccentric tastes.

While fostering reading, literacy is an obvious objective of a library. The M S Kitchin Facility must actively impart cultural and information literacy as well as a front line service delivery office to our communities.

Libraries link the past, present and future, and our wonderful buildings will be a refuge where the community can connect with their cultural past and the community around them, and cultivate skills and hope for the future.
It is with the greatest pleasure that I now formally declare open this new library.

Thanks
Dankie

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