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Language Activism Month Launch

As part of its Constitutional mandate the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) today launched the LANGUAGE ACTIVISM MONTH at a function held in Pretoria. The campaign which is aimed at encouraging South Africans to speak and live their languages and create a more multilingual society, will run from 01-28 February 2017. 

PanSALB has organised a month-long campaign that includes five days of Dictionary Promotion Activities around Gauteng from February 6 to 10, seven days of public hearings in Pretoria from February 13 and a public lecture and awards presentation on February 28 to close the campaign. The big day, February 21, will be broadcast live on public broadcaster the SABC. All these activities are running with the hashtag #SpeakItLiveIt, encouraging all to not just speak their mother tongues, but live the languages.

As we celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism, it is important that we also reflect on the Republic’s use of all official languages and other languages as enshrined in the Constitution,” said PanSALB chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Rakwena Mpho Monareng.

This is in pursuance of PanSALB’s functions as outlined in the Constitution and the the Pan South African Language Board Act 59 of 1995 (the Act). The hearings, which will be open to the public, will target all National Government Departments of the Republic in order to monitor and investigate the observance of the constitutional provisions regarding the use of languages and the provisions of the Use of Official Languages Act 12 of 2012 (The Languages Act).It is hoped that, through this campaign, South Africans will acknowledge the importance of preserving African languages while promoting multilingualism. South Africans can participate in the campaign by speaking their languages, reading a book in their mother tongues and posting their activities on our social media sites using the ##SpeakItLiveIt.

“Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing humanity’s tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education, but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding tolerance and dialogue,” said PanSALB CEO Monareng.