The mission and vision of the CUD includes that of promoting the constitutional rights of South Africa’s communities to preserve and develop their cultural, religious and linguistic identities within the framework of national unity; and promoting harmonious, non-racial relations between all who live in South Africa.

The CUD:

In the light of the above, the CUD’s submission on the language policy of the DAC is an important contribution to the promotion of language rights for all South Africans, which is given effect in the Founding Provisions of the Constitution. Additionally, the Use of Official Languages Act, 12 of 2012, was promulgated “To provide for the regulation and monitoring of the use of official languages by national government for government purposes”, i.e. to enable access to goods and services by South Africans from government without language being an impediment.

The mission, vision and work of the CUD, includes the monitoring of the work of the DAC, whose mandate includes a responsibility for the promotion of arts, culture, heritage and language to build a socially-cohesive society. Additionally, the DAC, has the responsibility for oversight and management of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), whose mission is to create the conditions and promote languages used in South Africa, both official ones and others in use. The DAC, like other government departments, is bound to review and update its language policy periodically, to ensure that it is giving effect to its mandate to serve the people of South Africa in one of the 11 official languages, as well as making material available in sign language.

In the light of its constitutional mandate for oversight of PanSALB and its obligations in respect of use of the Use of Official Languages Act, 12 of 2012, the DAC issued an Invitation to submit comments on the proposed and reviewed Language Policy, on 30 March 2019, with a deadline of 30 days for responses. This policy is reviewable every five years.

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