SA kids keen to read, but can't afford to: Survey

By Drum Digital
13 March 2013

South African children are keen readers, they just cannot afford books, a survey has found.

"It was found that most young South Africans enjoy reading, and want to read more, but are held back by the cost and availability of books," said market research company Pondering Panda's spokeswoman Shirley Wakefield.

She said the government should support the youth by making it easier to access books.

"Two things it can do right now are expand the library system, and make books VAT-exempt, so that they become more affordable for young people... 88 percent [of people] said they would definitely buy more books if they cost less."

Over 12,000 people, between 13 and 34, were surveyed across the country.

The survey found that more than one in every four people did not have easy access to a library.

Among those who read, 33 percent borrowed books from others, 30 percent bought books, 28 percent obtained them from libraries, and nine percent through other means.

Young black South Africans were found to be the most enthusiastic readers with 74 percent claiming to be reading a book, compared to 65 percent of whites and 55 percent of coloureds and Indians.

-by Sapa

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