By Thys Khiba
Smithfield – The Premier of Free State Sisi Ntombela together with the MEC for the department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (DSACR) Limakatso Mahasa have officially launched a new library named after the late Ishmael Moketa Morapela in Smithfield (Mofulatshepe).
“Morapela was a beloved community leader who lead from the front. His preoccupation was the betterment of his community and nothing else. It was therefore befitting that, in his honour, we named a public library in Mofulatshepe after him. We started our program by visiting his gravesite to communicate and let him know that we are working hard to change the lives of the people of Smithfield, something he unfortunately could not achieve as he left too soon,” said Premier Sisi Ntombela.
The library is expected to accommodate children and adults with a computer room consisting of computers with internet access, email and word processing program.
“To honour a young fallen community activist, the department in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders and after following all legislative requirements, has reached a consensus to name this new library after the late Mr. Ishmael Moketa Morapela who recently passed on,” said the provincial department of Sport Arts and Culture and Recreation.
Among other services that are expected to be given to the community of Smithfield by the staff members of the new library are Photocopy services, Toy library services, Study facilities, Outreach services, Sabinet Online services and Information services.
“In addition to the opening of the library, they were activities that became integral part of the program, those activities included the handover of title deeds to the beneficiaries by the department of human settlement,” said Free State department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Tankiso Zola.
Zola has also confirmed that at least 400 stands were given to the members of the community who wants to build houses. “The department of Sport Arts and Culture has also issued appointment letters for contract workers who will be responsible for providing cleaning services.”
The provincial of Sport, Arts and Culture and Recreation has also launched the Moral Regeneration Movement for Xhariep district. According to the departmental spokesperson, Zola, sport equipment were given to the community for school and community sport.
Meanwhile, the MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture and Recreation, Limakatso Mahasa has confirmed that for the 2021/2022 financial year the department receives an allocation of 638 million 523 thousands rand. The allocated amount will be used for Administration and Financial Management, Cultural Affairs, Library and Archive Services and Sport and Recreation programmes.
“In 2021, three more services will be established in Smithfield, Thanking and Soutpan libraries in partnership with the South African Library for the Blind (SALB),” said MEC Mahasa.
“On behalf of Morapela’s family, I want to express my paramount gratitude to the Premier of the Free State Mme Sefora Ntombela, the MEC of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation Dimakatso Mahasa, the Mayor of Mohokare Local Municipality Irene Mehlomakhulu, community of Mofulatshepe/Smithfield, lastly our organisation African National Congress (ANC). It is our great privilege and admiration as the Family to witness such an important gesture from Free State government, to celebrate and honour Cde. Potlaki Morapela, affectionately known as Cde. OR, by naming our community library after his name,” said Family Spokesperson Mmatshepo Morapela.