Cape Town is to host South Africas first international book fair 17-20 June. The four-day event, organised in association with the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Publishers Association of South Africa, has been launched on the back of the current upturn in the national book trade as well as a growing government commitment to books and authors. Some 12,000 South African fiction and non-fiction writers are currently earning royalties in the country, according to Vanessa Badroodien, director of the Cape Town fair, while the state authorities recently pledged R1 billion for public libraries over the three years as well as R100 million for the film and television, music, publishing and craft industries. The fair, which will be held at the citys international convention centre, will showcase national and international publishers and attract numerous authors and critics, including Zimbabwean crime writer Alexander McCall Smith and South African storyteller Gcina Mhlope. There will also be events involving local schools, libraries and communities, which aim to promote reading in South Africa, provide a platform for new voices and explore ways to make books more accessible for all.

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