PanSALB.pdf - BOARD NOTICES BOARD NOTICE 54 OF 1999...

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BOARD NOTICES BOARD NOTICE 54 OF 1999 PANSALB's POSITION ON THE PROMOTION OF MULTILINGUALISM IN SOUTH AFRICA: A DRAFT DISCUSSION DOCUMENT PANSALB Pretoria, February 1999 PANSALB's position on the promotion of multilingualism in South Africa: A draft discussion document 1. Introduction The purpose of this document is to explain PANSALB's understanding of multilingualism and language development in the context of language legislation embodied in the Constitution and other legal documents. The Board's position on multilingualism is encapsulated in its mission statement below: ____________________________________________________________________ The mission of the Board is to promote multilingualism in South Africa by: - creating the conditions for the development of and the equal use of all official languages - fostering respect for and encouraging the use of other languages in the country and - encouraging the best use of the country's linguistic resources in order to enable South Africans to free themselves from all forms of linguistic discrimination, domination and division; and to enable them to exercise appropriate linguistic choices for their own well being as well as for national development. ____________________________________________________________________ 2. Guiding principles The guiding principles for the promotion of multilingualism in South Africa are contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996, Clauses 6(1 ) - (5)) and the PANSALB Act (Act 59 of 1995). The Constitution contains a Bill of Rights, which is mainly premised on the notion of individual rights. The language clauses should thus be understood from the orientation of language as a right. In addition, the frequency of terms such as "status., "use", "usage" point clearly towards a paradigm which is also based on the functional or instrumental use of the languages of South Africa. The PANSALB Act, includes both these perspectives toward language, i.e. as both a right and a resource. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to ensure that South African society becomes one that is based on the firm democratic principle of equality. Hence, the purpose of the structures established in terms of the Constitution, is to assist in the democratisation of our society. PANSALB is one of these structures and thus its work will further democratic principles.
The Constitution identifies two agencies responsible for effecting these, namely government and PANSALB. Under the subsection on Languages Section 6 (1-5) of the Constitution unequivocally provide that: "1. The official languages of the Republic of South Africa are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. 2.: recognising the historically diminished use and status of the indegenous languages of our people, the state must take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and PANSALB position on multilingualism advance the use of these languages.

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