National Book Week turns three

2012-08-24 10:48

South Africans are not the most ardent readers and only 1% of the population buys books.

So says Elitha van der Sandt, CEO of the SA Book Development Council.

According to Van der Sandt, incidents such as the recent Limpopo school book debacle highlight the importance of reading.

“The textbook saga reinforces the importance of access to books and this is one of the key objectives of National Book Week,” says Van der Sandt.

The SA Development Council and the department of arts and culture have partnered to present the National Book Week, which will run from September 3 to September 8, and will promote South African and African authors.

However, such initiatives tend to be hyped for the duration of their campaigns and are long forgotten afterwards – until the following National Book Week.

Van der Sandt acknowledges the aftermath of such campaigns, saying: “We are building partnerships that will enable that longevity.”

The campaign, now in its third year, will be activated at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

It takes place in Hermanus in the Western Cape.

Nelson Mandela Bay will be the hub of this initiative as it will host activities that will include storytelling, a book club session, as well as poetry sessions and book sales.

Ardent readers will enjoy motivational talks and readings from some of the country’s renowned authors, including the likes of Ndumiso Ngcobo and Elinor Sisulu.

Television and radio personalities have also been included to lend a bling hand.

Bonang Matheba, Marc Lottering, DJ S’bu, Simphiwe Dana, Anele Mdoda and Liezel van der Westhuizen are some of the ambassadors.

» For more information visit or @NBW_2012 on Twitter

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