Sign Language is Legally declared as 12th official language.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet has approved the Constitutional Eighteenth Amendment Bill for public comment, which will give recognition to South African Sign Language as the 12th official language of the country.

The constitutional review committee has recommended that a section of the Constitution be amended to include South African Sign Language (SASL) as the 12th official South African language.

There are 11 official South African languages, and Section 6 of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to use the language and participate in the cultural life of their choice. However, the deaf community has been overlooked, but that could change soon. Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee has recommended that sign language become the country’s 12th official language.

Earlier in 2018, it was confirmed that South African sign language (SASL) would be officially recognized as a home language in the education system. It would be an examinable subject for the National Senior Certificate.

The exact date of when the constitution will be amended to include SASL as an official South African language is yet to be determined, but the long-overdue change is imminent.


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