Books editor Shaun de Waal takes a closer look at South Africa's best-sellers in July 2021 with data provided by Nielsen.
Looking at the Nielsen Bookscan SA bestseller lists (tracking actual sales across the country, in all bookshops) for July 2021, it’s noteworthy that the top four fiction titles are Afrikaans books. The Afrikaans book-buying public has long been a solid corner of the overall South African reading market, so it’s not a great surprise. But there are eight Afrikaans titles on the top 20 fiction list – that’s 40%, whereas Afrikaans-speakers are only 12% of the total South African population.
Note that the category is "adult fiction", meaning fiction for grown-ups as opposed to fiction for young readers. It doesn’t mean those "adult" titles are pornographic, though I daresay some may contain a certain amount of eroticism.