SOUTH Africans have been accused of being nonreaders. Illiteracy and a lack of interest in books have been cited as reasons.
But the government's actions in placing a heavy tax on books is surely to blame. The 14 percent tax levied on all books in a poor country with a low literacy level is wrong. It kills the aspirations of the poor to rise above their oppressive circumstances.
The most seriously affected are students and pupils who have to buy designated textbooks to complete their course work.
It is a Catch 22 situation that is stifling our efforts to develop skills and expertise to grow our economy.
Surely the tax the government derives from books can be accessed elsewhere. It is myopic to tax education out of reach of ordinary citizens, while preaching about the need for the development of our economy.