Basic Education Seeks Comment on Language Policy

Department of Basic Education

The Department of Basic Education has announced its intention to adopt a Language Policy in line with the Use of Official Languages Act.

The proposed policy, published in notice 325 in Government Gazette 38679 for comment, outlines the various purposes for which language is used in the department as well as the official languages to be used for these purposes.

Section 4(2) of the Act provides that a language policy adopted in terms of subsection (1) must identify at least three languages that a department, public entity or state-owned enterprise will use, set out how the official languages will be used, how the public can access the policy and put a complaints mechanism in place regarding the use of official languages.

According to the Language Policy, each provincial department will be able to identify their own working languages in line with a decentralised approach.

The language unit within the department will manage the implementation of the policy on a continuous basis.

All editing, translations, terminology development and standardization of terms will take place within a standardised terminology framework.

The notice also includes a table outlining how the department will use the official languages.

The department highlights the fact that teachers, learners, parents and other education stakeholders must note that this Language Policy does not replace the Language in Education Policy – but it is partly supported by it.

The Language Policy will be published in all the official languages on the department’s website.

All relevant stakeholders and organisations are invited to comment on the policy by 1 May 2015.

Sabinet Cape Town Office