Vodacom and Read A Book SA today launched an e-reader programme which uses information and communication technology (ICT) to advance and encourage a culture of reading in South Africa.

The programme offers an innovative model whereby Vodacom seeks to advance literacy development, one of the most critical elements in the education value chain, by installing an e-reader application on 45 tablets which will be freely available at the nine Vodacom ICT Resource Centres. This will enable learners and community members to read e-books at the centres.

Radio personality and e Reader Library Ambassador Sibusiso Leope  also known as Dj Sbu

Radio personality and e Reader Library Ambassador Sibusiso Leope also known as Dj Sbu

Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs at Vodacom, Maya Makanjee says: “Our aim is to use our technology to help make a difference in the communities where our customers live. Access to reading material is a major challenge in South Africa. As many learners do not have access to libraries and reading material, Vodacom together with Read A Book SA believes that we can help address this problem by broadening access to literacy in this way.”

The tablets will be loaded with e-books in the following genres; African literature, History, Business/Entrepreneurship and Fiction amongst others.

Executive Head of Department at the Vodacom Foundation, Mthobeli Tengimfene

Executive Head of Department at the Vodacom Foundation, Mthobeli Tengimfene

CEO of Read A Book SA, Tebogo Ditshego says: “According to the South African Books Development Council, only 15% of South Africans have access to a nearby library. This initiative will play a role in addressing this problem by creating access to literature for the communities around Vodacom’s ICT centres nationwide. The tablets will be updated with reading material regularly to ensure that visitors have constant access to new reading material.”

To further encourage a culture of literacy, visitors at the ICT Resource centres will be able to download the e-books to a memory stick or to their cell phones.

OR tambo logoO.R. Tambo International Airport celebrates its 7th renaming anniversary by giving back

Johannesburg, 25 October 2013 – As part of its 7th year renaming commemorations, O.R. Tambo International Airport hosted a book reading session for 187 school children from Chivirikani Primary School on Friday, 25 October 2013. This initiative was aligned to the airport’s support for Early Childhood Development through its Social Economic Development Programme (formerly referred to as Corporate Social Investment).

Held at the recently unveiled Oliver Reginald Tambo Memorial Exhibition, the book reading session also embraced the legacy of Oliver Tambo (after whom the airport is named), who was a teacher and believed in the power of education.

O.R. Tambo International Airport General Manager, Tebogo Mekgoe said, “As a company, we believe that education is the most powerful tool for economic and social emancipation for South Africa. On the special occasion of the airport’s 7th renaming anniversary, we wanted to share this awareness with our future leaders.”

The Grade 1 children from Katlehong were engaged, at their level, to encourage them to start reading at a young age and reap the benefits thereof later in life.

Actress Nolo Phiri reading to primary school pupils

Actress Nolo Phiri reading to primary school pupils

“If today’s session resonates with even just one learner, we would have achieved the positive impact that we seek, both for the individual children, and the country as a whole,” added Mekgoe.

The children were entertained by clowns and face painters after the formal programme was concluded.

The book reading event was preceded by a blanket drive where 300 blankets were donated to six organisations, on 24 October. This, after a preschool in Ekurhuleni recently suffered a burglary, during which all blankets used by the school’s children, were stolen.

Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, Manager: Communications and Brand Management added that, “We are honoured to be giving back on our birthday. We could not sit back and decided to provide the warmth required by residents of these organisations at this time.”

Since Airports Company South Africa took over nine of the country’s basic airports 20 years ago, it has transformed O.R. Tambo International into a state of the art airport. The airport, which was renamed O.R. Tambo International Airport on 27 October 2006 is Africa’s largest and busiest airport, handling an average of 19 million passengers every year.

O.R. Tambo International Airport celebrated its seventh year renaming anniversary on 27 October 2013, which is also the birthday of the late Oliver Tambo.


Press Release

For immediate release

Issued by Ditshego Media

On behalf of the South African Reading Foundation


SA Reading Foundation Launches National Book Week

NYDA joins SA Reading Foundation to celebrate the love of reading

Johannesburg – September 3, 2013 – The South African Reading Foundation (SARF) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) held a launch of National Book Week at Wits University yesterday. The event was hosted by SABC 1 Sunday Live News Anchor Tumelo Mothotoane and Luvuyo Mandela with the aim of celebrating the positive impact which books have had on those present and also discussing how reading can be made more appealing to young South Africans.

Guest speakers included Chairperson of NYDA Yershen Pillay, Chairman of the South African Reading Foundation Tebogo Ditshego, Wits University Vice Chancellor: Academic Professor Andrew Crouch and Metro FM Present Sibusiso Leope popularly known as DJ Sbu.

Yershen Pillay highlighted the NYDA’s new focus areas and the role reading can play in developing the youth moving forward. “We would like to be part of spreading a reading culture because we have redirected our focus to supporting education and skills development. As we celebrate National Book Week we need to find ways to use technology to build a reading nation” said Yershen Pillay.

Tebogo Ditshego discussed how spreading a book reading culture can help develop South Africa’s economy and increase its global competitiveness. “According to a study which was published in the UK Telegraph in May 2013, the single most important indicator of a teenager’s future success is whether or not he/she reads books for pleasure. Germany is a great example of a country which has successfully spread a reading culture and this has played a role in enabling them to become a nation with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world” said Tebogo Ditshego.

National Book Week has been running for four years and this year’s theme is “The Books of our lives” implying that anyone can find a book which they’ll be interested to read.


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