Even as South Africa has become more sensitive to the value of cultural diversity, the importance of English language literacy has increased. More than ever, experts emphasize in order to participate in South African culture and commerce, people must learn to read.
As in all post modern industrialized nations, television has become the primary tool for South African acculturation. As producers make television more closely resemble our computer screens, more text accompanies the sound and images. Viewers must learn to read in order to enjoy all of television’s benefits. Trends in cell phone use also indicate how South Africans must learn to read: people now more frequently use text messages than voicemail.
Educational advancement always has been the nation’s primary tool for upward social mobility. As jobs become more sophisticated, an applicant’s command of English frequently determines whether or not he or she gets a job.