Free “prescribed” etextbooks alleviate impact of university campus closures in South Africa

With university campuses closed around the world due to Covid-19 and students unable to access their library, leading global etextbook platform provider Kortext, in conjunction with their South African partner Govtek, is enabling students to continue studying anytime anywhere by providing online access to their critical prescribed textbooks for free. Students are now able to continue to work, both online and offline, towards completing their degree qualifications, despite the interruptions the epidemic has caused.

When the Covid-19 epidemic first started to hit in Europe, UK based Kortext launched its Free Student eTextbook Programme (FSTP) in the UK where now students at over 140 universities are able to benefit. Kortext garnered support from the major global academic publishers and technology giants Microsoft and Adobe to launch this unparalleled initiative.

The FSTP for South Africa aims to support the entire Higher Education sector through the current semester and already, the majority of universities are participating. Supporting publishers include Pearson, Cambridge University Press, Van Schaik, Taylor & Francis, Cengage, Wiley, McGraw Hill, and many more.

Beulah Muller, Associate Director: Knowledge and Information Services at The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) commented:

“The FSTP initiative from Kortext has been a life saver during this period of uncertainty. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced institutions to pivot their traditional teaching models, it also impacted students’ access to prescribed textbooks. This disruption has fast paced the adoption of electronic textbooks, and Kortext has made the adoption hassle free – their platform is easy to use with a range of functionality. The roll out of the FSTP in South Africa allows institutions to continue providing students with quality resources enabling them to focus on their learning journey.”

James Gray, CEO and founder of Kortext said:

“We never imagined such an amazing group of top global academic publishers and leading technology companies would come together so quickly to deliver to students their critical learning resources. Through the launch of the FSTP It is great to see the industry striving collectively and generously to provide equality of access to students in the face of the world’s worst epidemic in modern times”.

Emma Wade-Smith, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa said:

“I am extremely proud that Kortext, a UK company, is rolling out the Free Student eTextbook Programme for the South African HE sector. Education is a cornerstone of the future development of Africa and the British Government, a long term strategic partner to South Africa, wholeheartedly supports this initiative”.


Kortext contact: Richard Horton
Govtek contact: Faizal Ladha