Invitation: Seminar on Language Rights

Posted on February 09, 2011

DATE: Monday 14 February 2011
TIME: 12:30 - 14:00
VENUE: Moot Court, Room 1-51, Ground floor,  Law Building, University of Pretoria BACKGROUND:
South Africa has eleven official languages: Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Article 6(4) of the Constitution provides that ‘[t]he national government and provincial governments, by legislative and other measures, must regulate and monitor their use of official languages ... all official languages must enjoy parity of esteem and must be treated equitably.’

To implement the constitutional provision a National Language Policy Framework was adopted in 2002 and the South African Languages Bill was published in the government gazette for comment by the public in May 2003. The cabinet later decided to withdraw the bill. On 16 March 2010 the Pretoria High Court delivered judgment in Lourens v President van die Republiek van Suid Afrika en  Andere. Judge Du Plessis ruled that the action taken by  government was insufficient and gave the Minister of   Arts and Culture two years to comply with article 6 of the Constitution.

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