The educational system in South Africa has in the past been extremely biased towards white South African’s. Other ethnic groups were regarded by the Apartheid government and fit for nothing more than manual labour, primarily in South Africa’s mining industry or as domestic servants. The legacy of this racist approach has left many older South Africans with the bare minimum of a n education and in some cases no education at all. Illiteracy is rife and without the ability to read or write the outlook for these people has been grim. However Adult Basic Education is changing this outlook. Today participants in ABET programs are being given the skills to cope with the modern world.