1 minute read
12 Feb 2015
7:50 am

Books essential for freedom: Ramaphosa


Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said that reading was essential for freedom and a better future.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the audience during the launch of Read and Learn Campaign held at Khayelitsha's Harare Public Library, Cape Town which seeks to encourage the culture of reading and Learning in South Africa, 11/02/2015. Siyasanga Mbambani/DoC

“Books are essential for freedom… For a nation reading is a gateway to a different, better future,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Youth Engagement Harare Library in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

“[Books] allow a person to break free from the chains of ignorance and intolerance… Literature is a powerful tool for social dialogue, cohesion and nation building.”

Although the country had many good libraries and writers, only 14 percent of South Africans were active book readers, he said.

“A mere five percent of parents read to their children. We must change that.

“There should be no substitute for books in the lives of young people. Our youth must be addicted to reading, not drugs, alcohol or izikhothane [showmanship] culture.”