[lg policy] South Africa: Government tardy on language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 10 14:59:36 UTC 2010

  Government tardy on language policy
Published in: Legalbrief Today
Date: Tue 09 March 2010

Judge Ben du Plessis, of the North Gauteng High Court, is expected to
deliver judgment next week on an application by a Brits attorney who
is seeking to force the government to treat all local languages

During legal argument yesterday, the judge remarked that the
government ought to have been able to promulgate language policy
legislation in the past 14 years, but had failed to do so. Du Plessis
said the Constitution required a co-ordinated plan regulating the use
of all 11 official languages, notes a report on the News24 site. The
government should work out a way to accommodate all 11 languages, he
added. Afrikaans-speaking attorney Cornelius Lourens, supported by
organisations such as trade union Solidarity, brought the application.
They seek an order compelling the government to finalise and
promulgate national legislation to regulate and monitor the use of all
11 official languages. Lourens also asked the court to compel
President Jacob Zuma to order a language audit of all national
government departments. He further seeks a court order directing
Parliament not to discriminate against any official language by
publishing all national legislation, dating back to 1996, in all 11
languages. Lourens contended in court papers that government's current
practice, in which English enjoys preference, established a
language-discriminatory practice.
Full report on the News24 site


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