My department has a unit which deals with Books and Publishing, focusing on promoting a culture of reading, writing and developing authors, supporting initiatives that provide public platforms for authors working with the book sector stakeholders including authors to engender wider audiences for South African literature and enhance the development of a dynamic book sector.
The Department provides funding to individuals, institutions, community groups and organizations, including literature. It also provides financial support for creative writing including biographies and autobiographies. In addition, in the case of international partnerships, funds are allocated to authors to travel to international literary events and attend international Book Fairs and Festivals.
The Department in partnership with the South African Literary Awards, pays tribute to South African authors who have distinguished themselves as ground-breaking producers and creators of literature. The Department is further committed to financially supporting activities of the Writers Guild, the National Writers Association of South Africa, the African Women Writers Network, the Abantu Book Festival, the Mthatha Word Festival and National Book Week, the latter of which takes place in every September and is held in all Provinces. A campaign aimed at stimulating a reading and writing culture in all South African languages and to promote easy access to books.
The Department also provides support to the National Library of South Africa for the activities of the Centre for the Books as well as National Library Week activities and related publishing and literary initiatives including the Funda Mzantsi National Reading Competition which promotes reading among book clubs from all over the country. Together with the National Library, the Department is finalizing a strategy and programme of rolling out writing grants to aspiring writers and authors.