Sign Language Declared South Africa’s 12th Official Language

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed a Bill into law which recognises Sign Language as the official 12th language for South Africa.

During the signing ceremony, president Ramaphosa said it also affirms the humanity of people who communicate with sign language.

“Having sign language recognised as an official language will address access to education, economic and other social opportunities as well as public participation. People with hearing impairments will be able to also access more services, public information and a host of other opportunities,” President Ramaphosa said.

The legislation comes six years after the Pan South African Language Board noted parliament’s “positive step” in its recommendation that Sign Language be declared the 12th official language, while the decision was still under Constitutional Review.


Image: SABC News

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