It is easy to see how, in a country facing numerous crises, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2019 state of the nation address (Sona) commitment to get all 10-year-olds reading for meaning by 2030 has slipped off the national agenda.

Ramaphosa barely mentioned reading in last week’s Sona. However, if South Africa continues to ignore its illiteracy time bomb it is dooming children to ignorance, and the economy to failure...

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