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In a bid to reduce the high numbers of illiteracy afflicting so many South Africans, the Fibre Processing & Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FP&M SETA) will once again join forces with the South African Book Fair (SABF). Promoting and celebrating the book industry, as well as the joy of reading, the annual book fair will take place from 6-8 September 2019 at Johannesburg's Constitutional Hill.

"According to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), eight out of every ten children in South Africa cannot read with comprehension, either in their home language or English, while Statistics South Africa says just over three million South Africans remain illiterate. These startling figures are of special concern to the FP&M SETA which has subsectors in printing, publishing, print media & pulp and paper manufacturing. As a SETA, we know the emancipation that comes with literacy. Therefore, we continue to align ourselves with the South African Book Fair," says Felleng Yende, CEO of FP&M SETA.

Continuing with the theme of #OURSTORIES, a mix of activities, exhibitions, performances, panel discussions and sessions, SABF will highlight the power of books and reading to nurture growth and transformation in South Africa, while advocating for the abundant sharing of individual and collective stories. But more than that, the fair encourages attendees to adopt and spread the culture of reading beyond their own homes and communities.

According to SABF, over 58% of South African households do not own a single leisure reading book.

“Hoping to make a dent on such statistics, the FP&M SETA is sponsoring projects endorsed by the SABF to get more South Africans reading. Through its subsectors, the FP&M SETA has funded over 40 Small to Medium Micro Enterprises through buying them exhibition spaces at the book fair,” Yende explains.

The South African Book Fair is an annual family event. It highlights up and coming new authors and creates a platform for them to display their work. The Book Fair is also of significance as it promotes the love for books from a young age and inspires to expose as many people to books as possible.

"While the previous fairs have been stellar, this year's event will be one of the biggest and boldest this country has seen. Boasting over 100 authors, writers, poets, illustrators, and storytellers, loads of family-friendly fare, a book marketplace, tours, workshops, poetry and a ton of other fun activities, we urge every citizen to take up the challenge of fostering a reading culture both at home and amongst their communities, and this year's book fair is a great place to start," concludes

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