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2011 Cape Town Book Fair Canceled

Desmond Tutu at the Cape Town Book Fair

By Hannah Johnson

Organizers of the Cape Town Book Fair (CTBF) announced today that the fair will not take place in 2011. However, the fair is scheduled to relaunch in 2012 to coincide with the scheduled IPA Congress in Cape Town. Claudia Kaiser, the director of the CTBF and VP of Business Development for the Frankfurt Book Fair released the following statement:

The Cape Town Book Fair organisers announce that the Cape Town Book Fair will not be staged in 2011, but in a new and remodeled format in 2012, along with the IPA Publishers Congress which is going to be held in Cape Town 12 – 14 June 2012. The reason for this new move is that publishers in South Africa have voiced their support for a bi-annual Fair, starting in 2012. We thank all exhibitors and interested parties for their support and very much hope to be able to accommodate their needs and wishes again in 2012. A planning committee will start working and planning a revamped Cape Town Book Fair for 2012 very soon and will be announcing new details for the fair as soon as they become available.

(Photo: Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Cape Town Book Fair, 2010)

On Friday of last week, South African book news website BOOK SA reported a rumor that the CTBF would be cancelled based on a letter sent out the members of the Publishers Association of South Africa (PASA) from executive director Brian Wafawarowa.

BOOK SA published excerpts of the letter, which said that shareholders of the Cape Town Book Fair — PASA, Frankfurt Book Fair, and the board of directors — took into consideration the “non-participation of key publishers in last year book fair” in deciding whether to hold a fair in 2011. The letter went on to say that “the time between now and June 2012 [will be spent] restructuring the fair and considering our relationship with Frankfurt.”

With the IPA Congress scheduled to take place in South Africa in June 2012, organizers are optimistic about relaunching the CTBF to coincide.

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