Task Team Report on Promotion of Multilingualism Conference

Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


10 February 2004

Mr D Kgware

Documents handed out:

The Committee decided to change the date for the Multilingualism Conference from 1-2 March, to 23-24 February because of early election pressures. They felt confident that arrangements were under control..

Chairperson Kgware reported that the Ministers wanted the two Committees to get together on 24 February. He had also been approached by the DG with regards to changing the date from the 23rd to the 24th. The date change was fine with him. He stressed that the Committee needed to focus on the Conference set for 1 and 2 March. He asked about the Sub-Committee's proposals for the Conference.

Mr A Van Niekerk (NNP) recited a phase in Swazi, translated as, "my language is my pride." This was one of the proposed slogans for the Conference. Other potential slogans included: ¨Many languages, many friends¨ and ¨One democracy, many languages.¨ He was concerned that only Committee Members and participants would attend the Conference on 1 and 2 March, given the recent announcement of the elections and the indication that there were not many Parliamentary activities after 27 February. Therefore, he had asked the Chairperson and the Whip if the Conference could be moved to 23 and 24 February. Changing the date of the Conference would put pressure on the Steering Committee. Nevertheless, he felt pushing the date forward was feasible, since much of the preliminary organisational work had already been done. The programme had been finalised, numerous speakers had been contacted, and PANSALB had agreed to assist the Committee with the posters, the Monday night function, and the final report.

Numerous Committee members and the Chairperson agreed to change the date.

Mr Van Niekerk said the Old Assembly would be the venue. The Committee would invite all Parliamentarians and one MEC from each Province. PANSALB would invite their Language Committees. He recommended the Committee also consider inviting language-related NGOs, major universities, the Commission for the Protection of Community Language, Cultural, and Religious Rights, the Human Rights Commission, and the Public Protector. He guessed there would be approximately ninety non-Parliamentarian guests.

Ms M Themba (ANC) suggested the Joint Committee send one representative from each province.

Mr Van Niekerk noted that there were space limitations in the chosen venue. Although the Old Assembly could only accommodate sixty non-Parliamentarians, he recommended that all suggested guests be invited since not all would be able to attend. The Steering Committee needed to convene after the meeting and proceed with plans for the Conference so that plans could be finalised by 13 February.

As the Committee suggested, the Chair agreed to phone 'MJ' after the meeting to inform him of the date change.

Chairperson Kgware suggested that a flyer be made and distributed to the targeted Committees. Mr Van Niekerk felt this should be used as part of the marketing strategy. He recommended invitations be sent to individuals in their native languages. Chairperson Kgware agreed.

Chairperson Kgware asked for a list of the proposed speakers. He stressed the need for a checklist of everything that had been completed. The Committee would meet at 10h00 the following day, and he expected the meeting would last approximately thirty minutes.

Mr Van Niekerk recommended the heading with the three logos be standardised on all documents relating to the Conference. He suggested the documents also make reference to the Steering Committee, with contact phone numbers in the case of inquiries. He stressed those individuals involved in planning the Conference needed to ¨get moving.¨

The meeting was adjourned.


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