Question NW1582 to the Minister of Arts and Culture

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18 June 2018 - NW1582

Profile picture: Wessels, Mr W

Wessels, Mr W to ask the Minister of Arts and Culture

Whether all national departments are complying with the implementation of the Use of Official Languages Act, Act 12 of 2012; if not, why not; 2. Whether his department is monitoring compliance with the specified Act in each instance; if not, why not; if so, is his department providing support to all departments in this regard; 3. Whether he has found that all provinces have adopted and effectively implemented language policies in accordance with their Provincial Languages Acts; if not, what steps has his department taken to ensure compliance?


1. No, many national departments still experience capacity problems with elementary stages of complying with the Act. For example, most of them do not have language policies and those that have, are experiencing implementation challenges. Some of such challenges are self-inflicted due to unrealistic language policies. The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) an entity of my department, recently called all departments and public entities to report on their status quo, where it became evident that many departments and entities simply copied the Act without applying their context. It is where PanSALB decided to workshop them on language policy writing and implementation plan, and the workshop was held on 23 March 2018.

2. Yes, PanSALB is monitoring compliance, hence the Public Hearings mentioned above. PanSALB has provided support in the form of a workshop to all departments and developed policy guidelines.

3. Some provinces have implemented and others are still struggling to implement:-

  • Gauteng Provincial Languages Act has been approved but not yet implemented as the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation is still working on its regulations before implementation by provincial government departments.
  • The Eastern Cape’s Use of Official Languages Act has been approved and enacted by the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature. The 2nd of July 2018 was communicated to the Eastern Cape Office of PanSALB as a possible proclamation date of the Act.
  • The Western Cape Province has the Provincial Languages Act and the provincial language policy. The Act is fully implemented by all provincial government departments.
  • Limpopo Province also has a Provincial Languages Act which is being gradually implemented.
  • Free State Provincial Languages Act was only approved in 2017 and implementation has commenced.
  • KwaZulu-Natal province does not have a language Act, but has the Use of Official Languages Bill which will be finalised into an Act.
  • Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North-West provinces also have language Acts, that are being implemented.

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