Bridging the Gap initiative allows Gautrain passengers to download e-books for free

06 September 2016 - 14:21 By Neo Goba

The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) is the first state entity in South Africa to partner with Bookboon‚ in an initiative which will allow consumers‚ students in particular‚ to download free e-books for the next 12 months. Speaking during the launch of the Bridging the Gap project at the Sandton Gautrain station on Tuesday afternoon‚ GMA CEO Jack van der Merwe said this was a way of giving back to needy students.The Big Read: Path back to better schoolsWhat if you cannot fix a school? If that school is so dysfunctional that one after another intervention has failed to "turn around" learners' performance? “We are a country in Africa that has a huge youth population‚ so we thought we should plough back into the youth as we saw what an impact the #FeesMustFall campaign had in the country‚” said Van der Merwe. “Studying at a university is a package deal and‚ apart from the [tuition] fees‚ you still have your hostel fees and a huge portion is your book fees.”The partnership will make professional and business e-books available to Gautrain passengers from Tuesday.Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi said this was a great concept for the entity: “This is a moment of pride for us because we are the first state-owned entity that has structured this partnership with Bookboon. We are very proud of this partnership as it is linked to knowledge and expertise within a variety of fields."Bookboon is the largest publisher of free e-books in the world and the patron of the Bookboon+ Network in South Africa‚ radio personality Jenny Crwys-Williams‚ said there are no limits to downloading.Crwys-Williams called on for South African-based companies to come on board as this initiative is currently being subsidised by international companies.

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