The awards seek to promote a culture of reading and writing

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

South Africa is preserving its literary heritage through the yearly SA Literary Awards, which took place in Johannesburg at the weekend.

The awards recognise, acknowledge and honour rising and established authors and seek to promote a healthy culture of reading and writing.

Revered author Mazisi Kunene became the first national poet laureate when the awards were inaugurated in 2005. William Keorapetse Kgositsile is the National Poet Laureate for 2006.

The awards were pioneered by the Arts and Culture Department and Write Associates, and are supported by Sowetan, Sunday World, SABC and Nutrend Publishers.

A total of 17 rising and established writers were honoured for the K Sello Duiker Memorial Award, Nadine Short Story Award, Sala Literary Posthumous Award and Literary Achievement Award, as well as the Sowetan and SABC Literary Journalism Awards for print, radio and journalism that have also been included.

Otty EH Nxumalo took the Nadine Short Story Award. The K Sello Duiker Memorial Award went to Bruce Ngubeni. Victor Dlamini and Bongani Madondo received the Literary Journalism Awards for electronic and print media.

The Literary Posthumous Awards were conferred on Phaswane Mpe, Sipho Sepamla and Dalene Mathee.

Ten Literary Achievement Awards were given to Mafika Gwala, Mazx Marhanele, Felix Thuketana, Stephen Gray, Gladys Thomas, Ahmed Essop, Mbuyiseni Mtshali, Athol Fugard, Mongane Serote and Sindiwe Magona.