Constitutional committee recommends Signing as 12th official language

2017-07-27 14:06
A sign language interpreter works with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille during the opening of the the African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) at Artscape in Cape Town. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Gallo Images, file)

A sign language interpreter works with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille during the opening of the the African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) at Artscape in Cape Town. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Gallo Images, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Review Committee in Parliament has recommended that Sign Language be declared the 12th official language in SA, a language board has said.

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) released a statement on Thursday acknowledging "the positive step".

"The committee is recommending that section 6 (1) and (5) (a) be amended to include SA Sign Language as an official language. The committee accepted the fact that, the issue of addressing the proposal for declaring SASL as an official language was long overdue," said PanSALB spokesperson Sibusiso Nkosi.

He added: "The necessary formalities should be made by Parliament to ensure the amendment of the Constitution to accommodate this."

PanSALB chief executive officer Dr Rakwena Monareng said Sign Language, like any other official language is a "fundamental human right that should be treated equally.

"We have made several crucial calls to government to prioritise sign language like any other formal language and efforts have for a very long time drawn blank. This was done on the basis that we believe it has been violated and marginalised as compared to other languages," Monareng said.

READ: Call for Sign Language to be recognised as SA's 12th language

Implications

He added that he was looking forward to working with the department of education to help the promotion of Sign Language.

Speaking to News24, director for the Centre of Constitutional Rights Phephelaphi Dube said that state institutions would first be affected by the addition of Sign Language as an official language.

"All state institutions, schools hospitals, government departments would need to have personnel who know Sign Language and can communicate in it."

She said that because it would become a constitutional right, the private sector would also have to fall in line.

"It would mean the private sector itself - say banks for example - would have to take steps so members of the public interact with Sign Language."

Dube further welcomed the proposed amendment to the Constitution.

"This is a manner of ensuring there is greater inclusivity in the SA context: A means of achieving further equality and not just on paper. It is a measure that we welcome."

She said it was hoped that implementation would be concise.

Read more on:    parliament  |  johannesburg  |  language

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.