Multilingualism improves communication

2012-01-28 19:00
Pretoria - South Africa needs to promote equality and fairness in the use of official languages, especially during service delivery by government to the people, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said on Friday.

Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria, he said the draft SA languages bill aimed to ensure that government used all the 11 national languages without relegating or prioritising particular languages.

"At this stage we are saying lets have three languages on communication. Apart from English and Afrikaans which are being widely used, let’s add an indigenous language to be used by the local people for improved communication," he said.

When endorsed, the bill would make it mandatory for national government departments and public entities to select an indigenous language used by the majority in a geographical setting and incorporate it into communication means.

"If we are dealing with people in Pretoria, say in Eesterust, communication should be made in Afrikaans because that's the language used by most people there and let us also accommodate those staying in Mamelodi who speak Sesotho and Setswana."

He said the Pan SA Language Board had been ineffective in its mandate of promoting multilingualism in society.

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