Basic education in South Africa faces a crisis as learners fail to achieve the necessary outcomes in the related areas of language and literacy.
The aims of this paper are twofold. Firstly, we aim to describe and discuss the education crisis by outlining the educational landscape, relevant
policy imperatives and implementation challenges in post-apartheid education. The systemic factors contributing to the literacy crisis are
emphasised. Secondly, we argue that speech language therapists and audiologists (SLTAs) have a role to play in supporting basic education in
South Africa through developing language and literacy. It is suggested that the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology must
be socially responsive and population-focused in order to make meaningful contributions to development in South Africa. The potential
roles of SLTAs are discussed with suggestions for further actions required by the professions to enable a contextually relevant practice in a