Minister Angie Motshekga honoured the invitation by the Ethiopian Church of South Africa to preside over the opening of their library, the Dr JS Luphuwana Theological Library, on 2 October 2021.
Initially set up as a monument to the church’s founders and to preserve the church’s archives, the library – fully registered with the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) – now also serves as an information resource centre for the youth of Steelpark, Vereeniging. During the keynote address at the opening ceremony, Minister Motshekga commended the church on not deviating from its culture of service to humanity saying, “Not only do you provide spiritual nourishment for the soul, but you are actively involved in matters of social justice and projects aimed at lessening the burden of the poor, whilst empowering people to reach their potential”. Minister added that that she was particularly proud of the partnership between the DBE’s Read to Lead Campaign and the church’s Read to Reach your Dreams campaign, saying it is in line with Government’s mission of getting all South Africans, across all sectors, to join its efforts of promoting reading.
Speaking on behalf of the NLSA, CEO and National Librarian, Mr Kepi Madumo, said they are always excited when new libraries are established as access to information is crucial for community development. “Libraries and information resource centres such as this one play a huge role in the formation of a reading and informed nation. It’s therefore imperative that you protect this library from malicious destruction.”
In closing the ceremony, Dr JS Luphuwana, the Bishop of the Ethiopian Church of South Africa, encouraged everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19.