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Mashatile launches National Book Week

Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile(SABC)

Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile launches the National Book Week at the Babs Madlakane Hall in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape today. This is an initiative by the Department of Arts and Culture in association with the South African Book Development Council to encourage South Africans to read.

The event, which runs until Saturday, includes a number of activities such as puppet shows, story telling and creative workshops led by prominent authors. Mashatile says this week is to encourage people to read books written in indigenous languages.

He says the important thing is to get people to be interested in reading. “We come from a history where particularly in African communities libraries have not been very important. So people in general, did not see reading as an important thing.”

The minister says people should make reading a hobby, which is why he says: “I like this thing of book clubs, because in the next few years we must get rid of illiteracy in our country, to ensure that everybody can read and write.”

Last week Mashatile noted that a culture of learning and teaching in schools should be underpinned by government’s responsibility to ensure conducive conditions. He said this includes delivering learning material on time. Mashatile, who is also the ANC’s Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, was delivering the Dr John Dube memorial lecture hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus.

Source : www.sabc.co.za

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