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Sign language could become SA’s 12th language

South African sign language is a step closer to gaining official status in the Constitution.

Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee is recommending to the National Assembly that sign language be officially recognised. Picture: Tshepiso Mokoena Foundation.

JOHANNESBURG - South African sign language is a step closer to gaining official status in the Constitution.

Following requests from the deaf community, Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee is recommending to the National Assembly that sign language be officially recognised.

The proposal will follow a detailed parliamentary process.

The spokesperson for the Pan South African Language Board, Sibusiso Nkosi, says this is an important step in ensuring deaf people enjoy equal access to government services.

“By declaring it an official language; it’s a boost to them... to ensure that this language is taught in schools. And government departments at some stage need to ensure that they bring people with the necessary skills to communicate with these communities.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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