According to the 2012 General Household Survey (GHS) conducted by Statistics South Africa, the adult literacy rate is qualified as the self-reported ability to read and write short sentences.
However, researchers and independent analysts warn that these general statistics can lull one into a false sense of security regarding the real levels of literacy in South Africa.
Surette van Staden, a co-national research coordinator for the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2011, says it is dangerous to use such a loose categorisation for literacy. ”The ability to read and write short sentences is perhaps an indication of functionality, if anything,” says van Staden.
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