Johannesburg – January 12, 2011  Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), the soft drink division of South African Breweries (SAB), teamed up with Ditshego Media to distribute free refreshments for student’s queuing outside the University of Johannesburg’s campus during registration. This comes just two days after the tragedy which occurred outside the University of Johannesburg where several students were injured and one mother was killed during a stampede.

The scenes of hundreds of students sleeping outside the University premises for days led to the recognition by ABI and Ditshego Media that students may not be able to purchase refreshments without losing their place in line.

Speaking outside the campus, ABI Corporate Affairs Specialist William Mahlasela said “This was a crisis situation which required urgent response from various external stakeholders. Fortunately the University responded positively to this initiative and fast-tracked the process to ensure we can provide these refreshments in time.”

A total of 500O were distributed throughout the day to applicants who queued outside the Bunting Road premises, awaiting access to the campus to check the status of their applications.

“We are really indebted to ABI and SAB for their sharp response in this regard and we are also grateful that the management of the University of Johannesburg has swiftly agreed to the initiative which illustrates that our thoughts are truly with these students seeking to access education” remarked Ditshego Media CEO Tebogo Ditshego.

These refreshments will be provided until the application process has been completed which means that students can be rest assured that the process will be less daunting and or life threatening.

Editor’s Note: Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), the soft drink division of The South African Breweries Limited (SAB), is the leading soft drink business in the SABMiller group and remains one of the largest producers and distributors of Coca-Cola brands in the southern hemisphere. It accounts for approximately 60% of Coca-Cola sales in South Africa.

“Basically we want individuals to sit with kids within their families or community and read for them for just 67 minutes,” says Tebogo Ditshego the founder of the ReadabookSA campaign.

“We want them to give kids a taste or intrigue them about how good and fun reading can be, that way kids get to adopt the reading culture. From what I’ve read about Nelson Mandela he is a man who always wanted us to be masters of our destiny. I think this initiative will be a great tool in ensuring that our kids read so that they can truly be the masters of their destinies”.

Ditshego says the Mandela reading campaign idea was sparked by their recent talk at the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory. They loved the idea of creating something that doesn’t cost much but then goes a long way in adding value to the society. “Mandela Day is all about positive investments that can enrich our society and I think the Mandela reading initiative embodies those values,” adds Ditshego.

[pullquote align=”left or right”]I think this initiative will be a great tool in ensuring that our kids read so that they can truly be the masters of their destinies[/pullquote]

The South African Reading foundation has been committed to promoting the reading culture in South Africa. For more than a year, the foundation has been engaging South African readers through their ReadabookSA campaign and making reading a more fun activity.

ReadabookSA was created on 24 April 2012 and uses Twitter to promote the culture of reading. Since its launch the foundation has managed to garner over 22 000 followers on the social platform. Its followers are encouraged to read one book a month, share a picture of it along with a little review. The popular books are then added to the foundation’s favourite book list, which is already sitting at 3000. According to Ditshego the programme seems to be quite a hit with the youth.

“Since the launch of the programme we have received quite a positive response from the youth especially. They have mentioned how it’s helped them discover the fun side of reading and has also truly opened them up to a whole new world of reading,” says Ditshego.

The campaign has been endorsed by some of the top SA public figures including Generations actress Katlego Danke, songstress Lira, popular blogger Khaya Dlanga, Sbusiso Leope (DJ Sbu) and Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba.

According to Ditshego these are the few public figures who strongly believe that “Instead of sitting and complaining, let’s do something and lead our country into the right direction because leaders are readers.”

To join ReadabookSA’s Nelson Mandela read a book campaign simply follow ReadabookSA on Twitter.

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Press Release

For immediate release

Issued by Ditshego Media

On behalf of the South African Reading Foundation

SA Reading Foundation in Partnership with NYDA Launches 67 Minutes of Reading to Children Campaign on Mandela Day

Johannesburg – July 18, 2013 – On Nelson Mandela International Day the South African Reading
Foundation (SARF) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) donated African Literature
books to 60 children at the Johannesburg Children’s Home.
This forms part of the 67 minutes of Reading to Children Campaign which aims to raise awareness
about the importance of parents reading books to their children and assisting in spreading a culture
of reading in South Africa. According to a survey conducted by the South African Books Development
Council, 5% of parents read books to their children and this plays a major role in the low reading
statistics recorded by the Council which indicate that only 14% of South Africans are considered
regular book readers.

SARF is also currently running the Read a Book SA Campaign on Twitter with over 23 824 followers,
the followers are encouraged to read books to their children or younger siblings for 67 minutes and
send pictures of them participating in this activity to @ReadabookSA.
Chairman of SARF Tebogo Ditshego says, “We would like to urge parents to start reading to their kids
from 0 to 12 years of age because that is when most of the child’s habits are formed. Children see
reading as a fun activity and if parents succeed in influencing their kids to read, they will be
increasing the chances of the child succeeding academically and ultimately in their respective
careers.”