History of the SABF

Established in 2006 as the Cape Town Book Fair and originally managed by the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA), the fair moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg in 2015, becoming the South African Book Fair with an aim to be more representative of the country as a whole.

In late 2016 the SABDC took ownership of the South African Book Fair which is now incorporated into the successful annual National Book Week, which has already established itself in the SA calendar in the first full week of September.the SABDC set out to revisit the concept and relevance of a national book fair in South Africa. It acknowledged more traditional views of what such a fair should be, while at the same time starting on a new journey – that of responding to mounting calls for a more reflective and representative showcase of South African (and African) literature and culture.

As part of this journey, the SABDC also committed to:
(1) creating greater access to the event for all South Africans;
(2) dedicated itself to engaging audiences who ordinarily do not form part of mainstream book-industry events.


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