National Book Week 2013

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28 Aug 2013

Johannesburg, South Africa (5 August, 2013) – Promoting and sharing the joy of reading books lies at the core of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), in association with the Department of Arts and Culture, as they announce National Book Week 2013 (NBW), which is to be celebrated nationwide from 2-7 September 2013.

Reading statistics report that only 14% of the South African population are active book readers, and a mere 5% of parents read to their children. National Book Week is an important initiative in encouraging the nation to value reading as a fun and pleasurable activity and to showcase how reading can easily be incorporated into one’s daily lifestyle.

“National Book Week is one of the most significant interventions in our efforts to mainstream the book sector as an important contributor to job creation, poverty reduction and skills development,” says Mr Paul Mashatile, Minister of Arts and Culture. 

With this year’s theme of “The Books of Our Lives,” National Book Week embarks on a creative campaign which reveals to South Africans the many ways in which books remain our faithful companions on the road of life, prodding us, guiding us, teasing us, and sweeping us away into history, fantasy and the inner lives of others so different, and yet so similar, to ours.

“We all have an important role to play in promoting reading and increasing access to books. National Book Week is celebrated in September – the month of Heritage -- to instill a sense of national pride and encourage South Africans to read books, be they books in English or in our own languages,” says SABDC CEO Elitha van der Sandt. “We also want to show the nation how easy it is to incorporate reading into their daily lives, and to highlight how fun and enjoyable reading can be. There’s a book out there that anyone can identify with.”

A credible list of well-known South African personalities who have been enlisted to help spread the story of “The Books of Our Lives” has been secured and it includes the following: Zakes Mda, Azania Mosaka (Ndoro), Deon Meyer, Chad Saaiman, Marc Lottering, Gcina Mhlophe, Bonnie Henna, Liezel van der Westhuizen, Nigel Pearce, Shashi Naidoo and Zolani Mkiva
The NBW Ambassadors will share with the nation the Books of their Lives and how reading has helped them meander through life’s difficult and exciting phases.

The South African Book Development Council is also proud to announce a new partnership with the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) for National Book Week 2013.

As the reading culture remains minimal, DCS is working towards promoting a culture of reading and writing in their correctional centers and to project reading as a fun activity that expands horizons of knowledge for both offenders and officials.

The Department finds itself very fortunate to partner with the SABDC in order to achieve Rehabilitation through the culture of reading and writing.

Nelson Mandela bay municipality and the Eastern Cape Department of sports, recreation, arts and culture pledge their support for National book week 2013

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Eastern Cape Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture have renewed their partnership with National Book Week and are proud to present the Port Elizabeth as the official host city and central hub for National Book Week activities.

From 5 – 7 September 2013, the Red Location Museum in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth will be the buzz centre for NBW activities, and will include exciting activities for children, the youth, the visually impaired and adults, and will provide a fun environment to promote book reading as part of a daily lifestyle.

National Book Week activities in PE include, but are not limited to the following:

Book Discussions, Word-a-thon, specialized workshops by the likes of Zakes Mda and Deon Meyer, Family Literacy Workshops, Motivational Talks by celebrity ambassadors such as Bonnie Henna and Aaron Moloisi, Authors’ Programme, Storytelling, Magic Tent to enthrall children with books, Digital Storytelling, and many more.

Entrance to National Book Week programmes is free, enabling schools, families and the general public to attend. Various industry stakeholders will be invited to participate in the exhibitions, seminars and training activities.

Regional activities

  • A number of regional activities will be hosted in the Eastern Cape with the Provincial Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture
  • The Western Cape Library Services will be hosting a National Book Week programme in Atlantis through the Office of the MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sports.
  • Grahamstown will host a Children’s Literature Festival in conjuction with Puku IsiXhosa Story Festival from 06-08 September, as part of their celebrations for National Book Week.
  • Kalahari.Com will have a 30% sale on all their local books during National Book Week and will donate a number of Gobii e-readers as giveaways to National Book Week, as part of their support for the campaign.
  • Mini-National Book Week in Ntabankulu (rural Eastern Cape) from 02 September. Activities include book debates, reading and poetry.
  • Opening of a Modular Library in Herschel from 05-07 September and the activities include Book Discussions and Orphanage visits.

For more information, please visit

For Media-Related & NBW Ambassador Queries:
Vista Kalipa                                           Songezo Gxalaba
On-Point PR                                          On-Point PR
Tel:       076-047-1355                             078 839 1901

For Exhibition Related Queries:
South African Book Development Council
Elitha van der Sandt, CEO
Tel:       021-914-8626    
Issued by Onpoint on behalf of National Book Week