Book fair spotlights illiteracy

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Some of the major challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa are unemployment, skills development and improving the quality of life for historically disadvantaged communities.

These and many other challenges can be traced to a weak culture of reading and writing in South Africa’s historically disadvantaged communities.

It has become clear that the lack of a strong literacy culture stands as a major barrier to achieving these objectives. In particular, work with study groups and with the production of media for social movements has come up against this weak culture.

The overall objective of the Jozi Book Fair is to provide a public and visible platform where key social partners can come together and promote a culture of literacy.

The fourth Jozi Book Fair will be held at Museum Africa in Newtown on Saturday and Sunday (October 27 and 28).

The programme ranges from round-table discussions, conversations, and workshops, to encounters with guests of the book fair – Helmi Sharawy from Egypt and Lauretta Ngcobo, a writer and activist from South Africa.

There will also be book launches, a children’s programme and Jozi Book Fair Marikana massacre photograph exhibition, among other things.

In addition to the participation of small publishers this year, given the theme Literacy: Reading the Word and the World, literacy organisations and movements will be exhibiting their work and educational materials.

• For more info, go to or phone 011 336 9190.

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