Sign Language will be henceforth treated as one of the official languages of South Africa. The country’s Constitutional Review Committee in Parliament has recommended it and the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) acknowledged the step on Thursday through a released statement.
PanSALB spokesperson Sibusiso Nkosi said probably the section 6 (1) and (5) (a) could be amended as declaring SA Sign Language was long overdue to become the nation’s 12th official language.
Nkosi added the Parliament would be working out on the required formalities and ensure the amendment.
According to PanSALB chief executive officer Dr Rakwena Monareng, the Sign Language too is a fundamental human right like other official language.
Monareng added he will also be working with the department of education in promoting the language.
Director for the Centre of Constitutional Rights Phephelaphi Dube said post addition as an official language the SASL would first be introduced the state institutions.
She added, “All state institutions, schools hospitals, government departments would need to have personnel who know Sign Language and can communicate in it.”
The private sector too needs to abide the new addition as the language would become a constitutional right. This means banks and other institutions need to take steps so that members of public interact with the new language.
Meanwhile, the proposed amendment has been welcomed by Dube and others as it will bring further equality among the people. She said the implementation is hoped to be concise.