Language use in official engagements has become an exciting area since the 1994 dawn of democracy in South Africa. This matter has actually started to rear its fragility during the drafting of the revered Constitution of the country. The challenge of the equitable use of all the official languages is still a shadow of South Africa’s maturing democracy.
One of the major developments in this arena is the enforcement of the Language policy in all government departments and their entities. It is a step in the right direction to fulfil the constitutional provision. The Constitution (Section 6, Act No. 108 0f 1996) calls for equitable use of the 11 official languages with a view to facilitating equitable access to government services, knowledge and information, as well as respect for linguistic rights.
Being conscious of the challenges involved in the efficient management of linguistic diversity, Cabinet endorsed a National Language Policy Framework (NLPF) and an implementation plan (2003) with a view to establishing infrastructure and appropriate mechanisms for the full implementation of multilingualism, especially in the Public Service.
The implications now for government is to ensure that the public can access the services through the language of their choice. The NHC proposed language policy is now available to the public for comment and can be downloaded from this link: NHC Proposed Language Policy
The National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) which is an entity of the Department of Arts and Culture intends to adopt a Language Policy for the entity in terms of section 4(1) of the Use of Official Languages Act, 2012 (Act No. 12 of 2012) (“the Act”).
In terms of the Use of Official Languages Act, 2012 (Act No. 12 of 2012), Regulation 3(2), the public is hereby invited to submit their comments on the proposed Language Policy within 30 days which expires on 18 May 2015.
The submissions can be sent to:
The Chairperson of Council
Dr Marcus Balintulo
NATIONAL HERITAGE COUNCIL
Attention: Mr Thendo Ramagoma
PO Box 74097
- Physical address: 57 Kasteel Road, Domus Building, Lynnwood Glen, Pretoria
Download Link: NHC Proposed Language Policy