South African Sign Language approved as SA's 12th official language

John Perlman speaks to Liz-Anne Booysens, Gauteng's Provincial Director for Deaf SA, on the induction of South African Sign Language as the country's 12th official language.

FILE: This is a massive step in the right direction to tackle the marginalization of the deaf community in society as it will be making the language more accessible not only for community but the general public at large. Picture: andreypopov/123rf.com

President Cyril Ramaphosa's Cabinet has approved the Constitutional Eighteenth Amendment Bill for public comment, which will finally be making South African Sign Language the country's 12th official language.

This is a massive step in the right direction to tackle the marginalisation of the deaf community as it will be making the language more accessible not only for community but the general public at large.

The Department of Basic Education also announced that it plans to incorporate sign language as an option in the school curriculum, giving the language more recognition as this will now not only be an option for those in schools for the deaf.

Liz-Anne Booysens, Gauteng's Provincial Director for Deaf SA, expressed her happiness for this approval, saying that making the language more accessible to the public is preserving the human rights for deaf people in the country but would like it to be used more prevalently in public institutions.

Listen to the full interview below.

At the moment, [South African Sign Language] is not readily available in public institutions and also it is not known to many people in society and this is basically what we would want to see happening that the language is more prevalent and is being taught in schools, it is accessible wherever deaf people move around.

Liz-Anne Booysens, Gauteng's Provincial Director for Deaf SA

This article first appeared on 702 : South African Sign Language approved as SA's 12th official language