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28 MAY 2013

Indaba to Audit Language Status in the Country

28 MAY 2013

As from Wednesday, 29 May 2013, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will commence with its programme of auditing the country’s readiness to comply with the Use of Official Languages Act of 2012.

The Act which was promulgated in October 2012 makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the public.

It also gives all national departments, public entities and enterprises 18 months to establish a language unit and comply with its provisions.

“It is now more than six months since the Act was promulgated and we think it is proper as per section 9 of the Act to perform our monitoring functions so that we can report back to Parliament about our findings,” explained Mxolisi Zwane, Acting Chief Executive Officer (ACEO) of PanSALB.

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them on provincial language matters.

‘This is why our programme is taking us into the heart of the country, before coming back to deal with the national issues,” Zwane added.

The Language Indabas will commence tomorrow, 29 May, Mahikeng in the North West Province. PanSALB is hoping to use these platforms to strengthen its partnerships with stakeholders and various sectors of society to significantly create awareness about language human rights and to protect and preserve multilingualism in the country. In addition, the platforms are expected to identify language related challenges with the aim of finding solutions.

The Provincial Language Indabas will be running from May-July 2013. Provincial MECs’ of Arts and Culture, Mayors, State Law Advisors, House of Traditional Leaders, institutions of higher learning (Universities) are expected to form part of the Indabas.

“Once we are done with the provincial programme, we will host a national language indaba to deal with national issues,” Zwane declared.

At the end of the day, language communities need to become empowered and need to recognise the social, educational and economic potential of their languages if multilingualism is to take root as a positive force in this country.

For more information on the provincial schedules of the indabas members of the public are advised to visit our website; www.pansalb.org.za