The South African Book Development Council (SABDC), through its programmes, enables growth in the South African book sector that is closely aligned to broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE).
“Our aim is to contribute to the creation and production of high-quality books that meet the needs of all South Africans while bringing small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) publishers and entrepreneurs closer to mainstream activity. A main aim of the Fair in relation to SMMEs is to encourage engagement, joint ventures and skills sharing,” says Elitha van der Sandt, CEO of the SABDC.
In order to facilitate such developments the SABDC, in association with the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Fibre Processing & Manufacturing Seta (FP&M Seta), is introducing its new Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) at this year’s national Book Fair.
The CEO of the FP&M Seta, Felleng Yende, has this to say about the Seta’s involvement in the Fair.
“The FP&M SETA is proud to be involved with the South African Book Fair and in the facilitation of the Enterprise Development Programme. We are committed to uplifting SMMEs in the publishing sector in order to grow small businesses and ensure the sustainability of their businesses for the future. This programme will open up a host of opportunities for job creation, expose small, local businesses to international opportunities and represent South African publishing on a global scale.”
The programme is assisting SMME publishers and entrepreneurs in the book sector to participate in the Fair through very welcome exhibitor subsidies. As Elitha van der Sandt points out, the subsidies are “a very useful vehicle in terms of BBBEE and the broader development of our industry”.
The SABDC has managed to recruit 65 practitioners, comprising mainly publishers but also featuring new writers, illustrators and an experienced cadre of indigenous language editors, to the Enterprise Development Programme. These participants have been drawn from all our provinces.
Many of these enterprises will exhibit and participate in tailored training sessions and seminars in the Business-to-business Programme. Established writers Nozizwe Jele and Angela Makholwa have assisted the SABDC in identifying promising new writing talent and we are working towards meaningful meet-and-greet sessions between newer and more established publishers. We also have informative sessions lined up with the award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson, who will work with talented new black illustrators and assist us in developing much-needed talent for the industry.
“All these sessions are based on reciprocal relationships; hence we are hard at work to ensure benefit all round,” points out Elitha. “With these kinds of enterprise development programmes in place, the Fair starts taking on a whole new meaning.”