Monday, March 15, 2004

Price of Books in South Africa

For some time now I have been very concerned regarding the price of books in South Africa. For those who don't know, they are outrageous compared to the US or UK. All sorts of excuses about exchange rates, but local books are not much better. Anyway, Andie alerted me to this little extract from a show on SAFM the other day on a campaign to drop VAT on books in SA, which was interesting. Extract: "Good morning and welcome to another edition of 'The Bookshelf' here on SAfm, your news and information leader. I'm Alan Swerdlow and I'm joined this morning by Michelle Constant, Peter Terry and Will Bernard. Lots to get through. Just as a sideline, I was hoping that I was going to be able to talk about some good news today, and mention that our Minister of Finance had decided to drop taxing books. Unfortunately, despite a very cogent and cleverly put together campaign organised and co-ordinated by Terry Bell, the appeal to drop VAT on books has fallen not on deaf ears, because the Minister certainly mentioned it in his speech, but he has not complied. So this is something we need to carry on fighting. It is a good fight and needs to be fought long and hard. We need to make books as cheap and accessible as possible for all people in this country.". I wonder if more can be done and if others have links on how to support this campaign....