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June 2015 - Join Collect-a-Can’s book drive this Mandela Month

Millions of learners in South Africa do not have access to books, while eight out of ten schools do not have libraries, according to the Department of Basic Education. With these challenges in mind, Collect-a-Can in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, will be running a fun-filled Collect-a-Book drive across South Africa in celebration of Mandela Month, taking place this July. The aim of the book drive is to bring reading books to schools, ultimately improving South Africa’s literacy rate.

During Mandela Month people around the world are urged to dedicate at least 67 minutes of their time, creating positive change in their communities in celebration of the 67 years that Nelson Mandela spent fighting for democracy.

This Mandela Month Collect-a-Can and partners will be reaching out to underprivileged schools, encouraging learners to read by bringing books to the children and providing them with the opportunity to listen to inspiring storytellers, ultimately teaching them that reading can be fun!

Selected schools in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Vanderbijlpark and Pretoria will be visited on Friday, 24 July 2014 and will benefit from the Collect-a-Book drive.

“Improving South Africa’s literacy rate by putting books in the hands of children will encourage more individuals to read, which could expose our youth to a world of possibility,” says Zimasa Velaphi, public relations and marketing manager for can recovery and recycling organisation, Collect-a-Can.

ReaderLympics, an organisation that engages children, families, communities and schools in reading activities, will also take part in this initiative. Volunteers from the organisation will help make reading fun for the learners at the selected Johannesburg schools by engaging with them in interactive reading sessions and keeping them entertained with exciting storytelling activities.

“We are excited to see more and more organisations getting involved in raising awareness around reading, especially with the aim of improving the country’s literacy levels amongst our children. Reading is the foundation of education and there is still an opportunity for all of us to be more diligent in tackling the lack of reading. There are a number of reasons why we have such low literacy levels and access to books is one of those,” says ReaderLympics director, Tshepo Sefotlhelo.

The Collect-a-Book drive will also include an environmental conservation aspect as selected schools will be encouraged to collect cans for recycling in exchange for the books that they will be receiving at the main event on Friday, 24 July 2015.

“We challenge all companies and individuals to help us make our Collect-a-Book drive one to remember by assisting us in bringing books to children, ultimately reducing the rate of learners that do not have access to books. Together we can make a positive difference in South Africa’s literacy rate,” concludes Velaphi.

For more information about Collect-a-Can or to find out how you can get involved in the Collect-a-Book drive, please contact the Collect-a-Can head office on 011 466 2939 or visit the website Collect-a-Can is also on Facebook ( and Twitter (

For more information about ReaderLympics, please contact Tshepo on 084 404 1548. ReaderLympics is also on Facebook (


Issued by Reputation Matters
Media contact: Zydelia Kleinhans
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About Collect-a-Can

Collect-a-Can (Pty) Ltd is a South African based can recovery and recycling organisation with eight branches across southern Africa. Collect-a-Can was founded in 1993 as a joint venture between ArcelorMittal South Africa and Nampak. Together they pro-actively address the beverage can and other metal packaging responsibilities in minimizing the impact of used metal packaging on the environment. Collect-a-Can works actively within various communities encouraging citizens from all walks of life to assist them in their can collecting efforts. Specific attention is paid to involving school children and members of disadvantaged communities. Economic opportunities have been created by Collect-a-Can for individuals in the lower income sectors through their collection drive which has inspired vital entrepreneurial endeavours, as many collectors acquire basic business skills and grow their own recovery and recycling businesses.

About ReaderLympics

ReaderLympics is a non-profit organisation, established (by Tshepo and Tina Sefotlhelo) to build and promote a culture of reading in South Africa. Given the challenges faced by the education system, ReaderLympics aims to increase the country’s literacy levels, by engaging children, families, communities and schools in various reading activities. This is achieved by hosting a series of book review events and activations that promote reading in a competitive, engaging, collaborative and fun manner. The concept of ReaderLympics is “play on words” that brings together Read and Olympics, making reading fun and a competitive activity.

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