MEDIA RELEASE  
 
 
 

PanSALB dedicate women’s month to Nadine Gordimer

 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is deeply saddened by the announcement of the passing away of  Nobel Prize winning author, an anti-apartheid revolutionary who fostered racial reconciliation, Nadine Gordimer

“In honour of her life and work, The Board has decided to dedicate Women’s Month (August) to her,”

" said the newly appointed Chairperson of PanSALB, Professor Mbulungeni Madiba.

Gordimer was not only a legendary author but a political activist who died at the age of 90.  She was one amongst the first to try to take account of the emerging literature of the rest of Africa, in the Black Interpreters of 1973.

Her fiction as she often said, especially when declining to write an autobiography was the truest she could write.

In the first big academic study of Gordimer’s work, “History from the Inside” (1986) by Stephen Clingman, the critic placed her work along a path of growing awareness of South Africa’s social and political crisis under apartheid regime.

Gordimer’s writing embodied her passion for the demise of apartheid, and focused on themselves of love, hate and friendship under the pressure of the racial segregation system and policies of colonialism.

She has published her first successful book at the age of 15

Gordimer was amongst the brave men and women of our country who championed the social role of arts, music and literature in advancing the struggle against apartheid and for freedom, equality and democracy.

 “South Africa has lost a voice that is revered across the globe for her literary command and impact.  She leaves behind a collection of important work that has influenced many South Africans. The country has lost a great patriot, a renowned writer and an outstanding voice for equality and freedom,” lamented Madiba.

He added that Gordimer has strongly and largely contributed to the promotion of literature in the country during difficult times of apartheid.  Her death leaves us with a sense of loss, but she will always be with us through her works.

“On behalf of PanSALB, the literary community spectrum and the country at large, we would like to extend our sincere words of condolences.  May her soul be at eternal peace, he concluded.

Released on behalf of PanSALB : Sibusiso Nkosi
: Manager: Communication and Promotion
: Tel 012 341 9638
:Mobile 082 855 4436
Date : 16 July 2013


PanSALB to host Gauteng Language Indaba

 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) cordially invites members of the media to a one- day Language Indaba to be held on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus in Soweto.

 

This is a third in a series of Indabas to take place in all the nine provinces in the country.  So far we had the North West and Free State Indabas.  The purpose of the Language Indabas is to conduct state of readiness of the country to comply with the Use of Official Language Act of 2012.

 

The Act was promulgated in October 2012 and makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the general public.

 

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them when it comes to provincial language matters.

 

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Gauteng portfolio committee on Arts and Culture, Department of Education, National House of Traditional Leaders and many institutions are expected to form part of the Indaba.

 

Indaba to Audit Language Status in the Country

As from Wednesday, 29 May 2013, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will commence with its programme of auditing the country’s readiness to comply with the Use of Official Languages Act of 2012.

The Act which was promulgated in October 2012 makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the public.

It also gives all national departments, public entities and enterprises 18 months to establish a language unit and comply with its provisions.

“It is now more than six months since the Act was promulgated and we think it is proper as per section 9 of the Act to perform our monitoring functions so that we can report back to Parliament about our findings,” explained Mxolisi Zwane, Acting Chief Executive Officer (ACEO) of PanSALB.

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them on provincial language matters.

“This is why our programme is taking us into the heart of the country, before coming back to deal with the national issues,” Zwane added.

The Language Indabas will commence tomorrow, 29 May, Mahikeng in the North West Province. PanSALB is hoping to use these platforms to strengthen its partnerships with stakeholders and various sectors of society to significantly create awareness about language human rights and to protect and preserve multilingualism in the country. In addition, the platforms are expected to identify language related challenges with the aim of finding solutions.

The Provincial Language Indabas will be running from May-July 2013. Provincial MECs’ of Arts and Culture, Mayors, State Law Advisors, House of Traditional Leaders, institutions of higher learning (Universities) are expected to form part of the Indabas.

“Once we are done with the provincial programme, we will host a national language indaba to deal with national issues,” Zwane declared.

At the end of the day, language communities need to become empowered and need to recognise the social, educational and economic potential of their languages if multilingualism is to take root as a positive force in this country.

For more information on the provincial schedules of the indabas members of the public are advised to click here
---End---

Released on behalf of PanSALB : Sibusiso Nkosi
: Manager: Communication and Promotion
: Tel 012 341 9638
: Mobile 082 855 4436
Date : 28 May 2013


 

Indaba to Audit Language Status in the Country

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) cordially invites members of the media to a one- day Language Indaba to be held on Thursday, 06 June 2013 at Bloemfontein President Hotel in the Free State.

The purpose of the Language Indabas is aimed at auditing the country’s readiness to comply with the Use of Official Language Act of 2012.

The Act was promulgated in October 2012 and makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the general public.

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them when it comes to provincial language matters.

The Free State Arts and Culture Department, representatives of the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor, Free State House of Traditional Leaders, Institutions of higher learning and many other stakeholders re expected to form part of the Indaba.

End

All media are invited as follows:

Date : Thursday, 06 June 2013
Time : 08:30
Venue : Bloemfontein – President Hotel, Bloemfontein in Free State
RSVP : Mr Siphiwe Mabasa, siphiwe@pansalb.org.za / 012 341 9638
Enquiries : Mr Siphiwe Mabasa, 071 3845 361


 

REST IN PEACE QABANE

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) would like to add its voice of condolence to the Mbuli family about the passing of Vuyo Mbuli, iqabane of multilingualism.

This is indeed a colossal loss not only to the media and language fraternity, but also to the entire country.

Mbuli as affectionately known was not only a media mogul but also a cadre of the language movement, Mbuli largely and positively contributed to the promotion, preservation and protection of indigenous languages in the country. His introduction of topics with different languages during morning live has contributed immensely to multilingualism in the country.

In 2005 PanSALB awarded Mbuli with the Multilingualism Award in recognition of his commitment to multilingualism in the country. The objective of the PanSALB Multilingualism Awards is to promote and recognise exceptional work in the promotion of all official and other South African languages.

PanSALB would like to extend its sincere sympathy to his family, media, linguistic community and the society at large.

The country has indeed been robbed of a media stalwart, a multilingual icon with an original sense of humour.

His positive work will remain active with us in spirit and may his soul rest in peace.

---Ends---

Released on behalf of PanSALB: Sibusiso Nkosi
: Manager: Communication and Promotions
: Tel. 012 341 9638
: Mobile 082 855 4436

Date : 19 May 2013


 

PanSALB welcomes the African languages school plan

 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) welcomes the move by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) to introduce isiZulu language as a compulsory course to allow students to demonstrate bilingualism to earn their degrees.

 

This is definitely a watershed moment in the history of our education system. It offers us an opportunity to reclaim the value of linguistic pluralism in South Africa, and in so doing to rediscover a hidden store of knowledge.

As such, language is a critical factor influencing education outcomes and is a determinant of scholastic and career performance. Language forms the basis for conceptualisation and understanding. In its absence important skills and knowledge, including numeracy, cannot be transferred. This in turn impacts on the availability of a variety of much-needed skills in South Africa, thus perpertuating on unemployment in the long term.

Language should enhance equality and equitability. It should unite South Africans and not create distances. All speakers of official languages should be granted the same opportunity to use and develop their language. South Africa has a unique heritage of multilingualism which should be nurtured and developed. This will lead to social cohesion. 

 

If it was possible, "by whatever means necessary" to successfully develop Afrikaans from a kombuis taal into a language capable of carrying all knowledge, including nuclear science and heart transplantation, so it is possible to do the same for the African languages.

“We cannot continue to create a situation in which African children are made to leave their African languages at the gates of learning,” said Mr Mxolisi Zwane, Acting Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB. 

The ideals enshrined in our constitution on language have to be socially engaged. This is necessary as there is an intrinsic and primordial connection between language, culture and identity.

Policies will need to be put in place that will take us beyond UKZN to the foundation phase of our education system where it will equip our learners from childhood development of our education.  In this regard, language as a national heritage will be preserved and maintained.

At the end of the day, the language communities need to become empowered and need to recognise the social, educational and economic potential of their languages if multilingualism is to take root as a positive force in this country.

Ultimately, PanSALB wants to stimulate the empowerment of language communities to recognise both the sentimental and instrumental value of their languages. Multilingualism will take root as a positive force in this country when all our languages are valued in society at large.

Released on behalf of PanSALB
Sibusiso Nkosi: Manager: Communication and Promotion
Tel: 012 341 9638:
Mobile: 082 855 4436 
Date: 17 May 2013


 

Indaba to Audit Language Status in the Country

As from Wednesday, 29 May 2013, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will commence with its programme of auditing the country’s readiness to comply with the Use of Official Languages Act of 2012.

The Act which was promulgated in October 2012 makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the public.

It also gives all national departments, public entities and enterprises 18 months to establish a language unit and comply with its provisions.

“It is now more than six months since the Act was promulgated and we think it is proper as per section 9 of the Act to perform our monitoring functions so that we can report back to Parliament about our findings,” explained Mxolisi Zwane, Acting Chief Executive Officer (ACEO) of PanSALB.

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them on provincial language matters.

“This is why our programme is taking us into the heart of the country, before coming back to deal with the national issues,” Zwane added.

The Language Indabas will commence tomorrow, 29 May, Mahikeng in the North West Province. PanSALB is hoping to use these platforms to strengthen its partnerships with stakeholders and various sectors of society to significantly create awareness about language human rights and to protect and preserve multilingualism in the country. In addition, the platforms are expected to identify language related challenges with the aim of finding solutions.

The Provincial Language Indabas will be running from May-July 2013. Provincial MECs’ of Arts and Culture, Mayors, State Law Advisors, House of Traditional Leaders, institutions of higher learning (Universities) are expected to form part of the Indabas.

“Once we are done with the provincial programme, we will host a national language indaba to deal with national issues,” Zwane declared.

At the end of the day, language communities need to become empowered and need to recognise the social, educational and economic potential of their languages if multilingualism is to take root as a positive force in this country.

For more information on the provincial schedules of the indabas members of the public are advised to visit our website; www.pansalb.org.za
---End---

Released on behalf of PanSALB : Sibusiso Nkosi
: Manager: Communication and Promotion
: Tel 012 341 9638
: Mobile 082 855 4436
Date : 28 May 2013


  PanSALB celebrates International Mother Language Day
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), on Thursday 21 February 2013, celebrated International Mother Language Day at a commemorative event held in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. The day, established by UNESCO in 1999, seeks to promote the dissemination of mother tongues and a fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world.

PanSALB views this day as significant on the international calendar for promotion and development of language and cultures hence, all provincial structures will be celebrating the day throughout the month of February to entrench pride and awareness for home languages.

Ms TB Sunduza, Chairperson of The Portfolio Committee for Arts and Culture, delivered the keynote address amongst other speakers such as, key stakeholder representatives from the National Heritage Council, the SABC, the National House of Traditional Leaders and the African Renaissance.

“As the Department of Arts and Culture, the development and promotion of the official languages and enhancement of the linguistic diversity of the country, is one of our core values. Our language plays an essential role in social development”, said Sunduza.

As a milestone in its celebrations, PanSALB also launched a scholarship in honor of the linguist icon, activist and scholar, Professor Neville Alexander. The scholarship aims to promote and encourage academic excellence and research in indigenous languages for scholars nationwide. It further seeks to support matriculants who wish to purse linguistic studies at tertiary level.

Professor Alexander was at the forefront of multilingualism and is one of the greatest advocates of linguistic diversity and mother tongue education in South Africa and we saw it fitting to honour him on this International Mother Language Day said Mxolisi Zwane, PanSALB Chairperson.

Established in 1995 as a constitutional entity, PanSALB promotes and creates conditions for the development and use of all official languages in SA including, the Khoi, San and Nama as well as the SA sign language. Its role includes amongst others the promotion, preservation as well as the monitoring of language use by all state organs

We must encourage the use and development of our mother tongue. Our languages must be preserved for generations to come and as such, its important that our children are nurtured and raised to be proud and eloquent in their mother languages. concluded Zwane.

All information pertaining to the scholarship and application process will be availed on our website from March 2013.  Website: www.pansalb.org.za.

Issued for and on behalf of PanSALB by Zanenza Communications.

For interview opportunities with Mxolisi Zwane, PanSALB Chairperson contact:

Thango Gombiza
Tel: 011 886 3775
Cell: 079 5484 264
E-mail:  thango@zanenza.co.za


     
 
  Mr Mxolisi Zwane- Caretaker CEO
  A tribute to Professor Neville Alexander
 

By Mxolisi Zwane

There is a saying in my language that declares: “Kuyohamba amaqhawe kusale izibongo” which can loosely be translated into English to mean that when our heroes and heroines have departed, only their names and outstanding contributions will remain.

These words reverberated when I received the news of the passing away of this revolutionary and struggle hero Professor Neville Alexander. Professor Alexander passed away on 27 August 2012 at the age of 75 due to illness.

Where does one begin to describe this man who has been in the forefront ofmultilingualism in the post-apartheid South Africa and one of the major advocates of linguistic diversity and mother tongue education?

As recently as April when the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande was slammed for suggesting that competency in an African or indigenous language would be a prerequisite for graduating from higher education institutions, it was Professor Alexander who came to his defence.

 

He told one publication (Daily Maverick) that there is merit to Nzimande’s plan to compel students to learn an African language, but Alexander believed that African languages must be introduced to students long before they enter universities. And eventually it will not be the work of government alone to grant African languages the much-needed cultural capital. “It will take a social movement,”

 

Language and Professor Alexander are synonymous in South Africa. He set the country’s foundation on language planning when in 1994 was asked by then Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Dr. Ben Ngubane  to lead the Language Task Group  (LangTaG) which conducted research towards the formulation of the National Language Plan for South Africa.The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) owes its existence to people like him-he was key among the people who contributed to the founding and establishment of PanSALB. He led the Board from 1996 - 1998. During his lifespan as a language activist he effectively contributed to PanSALB’s Research, Status Language Planning and Language in Education, among others.

 

In 1986 Professor Alexander helped co-ordinate the National Languages Project in South Africa. How could we forget his 1989 research that he conducted with the University of Cape Town’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy wherein it was concluded that South Africa would remain a multilingual society in spite of the emergence of English as a national means of communication in a post-apartheid society.

 

Professor Alexander was instrumental in the drafting of the South African Languages Bill of 2003 which was a better point of departure as it clearly promoted multilingualism. In 2011 when the Bill was reintroduced in Parliament as the Use of Official Languages Bill, Professor Alexander, although retired, never restrained from actively participating in issues of multilingualism. Throughout the public hearings and deliberations that took place in Parliament earlier this year, he was always present.

 

Although the Bill was tabled before Parliament on 07 August by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, unfortunately Professor Alexander would not see its implementation.

 

The heartfelt loss will not only be borne by his family but all those who knew and worked with him in promoting multilingualism in South Africa. Professor Alexander was generally a national asset and an internationally renowned language activist.  We will always benefit from his valuable linguistic body of knowledge. He has played his role and now is the time for us to carry the torch. As the saying goes: Kuyohamba amaqhawe

kusale izibongo.


PanSALB calls for a South African Languages Act with punitive measures

On 17-18 January 2012, The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture held public hearings on the government’s proposed SA Languages Bill which have revealed that most participants agreed that the bill as it stood was inadequate.

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) also added its voice in this ground breaking piece of legislation. In its current form we believe the Bill will fall short in addressing our country’s inequitable language use.

Our first point of departure was that the bill is unlikely to give effect to the government’s constitutional obligation. Government is expected to “take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of (indigenous languages)” and to ensure all 11 official languages “enjoy parity of esteem and… (are) treated equitably”.

 

Most importantly, the bill lacks the necessary mechanism to deal with language rights violators and fails to offer remedies to the victims of such violations.

 

Our submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity.

 

Please click here to view our submission


South African Languages Bill – Make Your Voice Heard

 

In 2009 an attorney from Brits, one Cornelius Lourens, in an endeavour to force the promulgation of the South African Languages Bill of 2003, made an application to court that government was in violation of the Constitution (Lourens vs The President of the Republic of South Africa and others, 2009). Lourens’s application was successful and government was given two years to promulgate a Languages Act. This would be the first national languages act in South Africa.

 

In response the Department of Arts and Culture has drafted the attached South African Languages Bill which is now before the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture. According to the attached Notice from Parliament, public submissions are now being called for.

 

PanSALB has prepared its submission on the Bill, which is attached here. The submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity. Canada’s renowned Bill 101 of the Charter of the French Language is regarded as a model national language act and is indeed considered to be a successful form of intervention. The same view prevails, to a varying extent, with regard to the role of national language acts in other countries and regions, including Catalonia, Scotland, Wales, Serbia and the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states.

 

However, the SA Languages Bill in its current form falls short of addressing our country’s inequitable language use. We therefore call on all groups and individuals interested in language to make their voice heard on this Bill by making a submission to the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

All submissions must be addressed to Mr Johnny van der Westhuizen (tel: 021 403 3714, cell: 083 709 8389), Committee Secretary, Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

Submissions must be received no later than 12:00 on Monday, 12 December 2011 and can be made in the following ways:

Public hearings on the Bill will be held in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 and Wednesday, 18 January 2012.

 

Should you wish to make further suggestions for PanSALB’s submission, please contact Advocate Linda Ramadi-Adebola on 012 341 9638 or email her on: lindak@pansalb.org.za on or before

7 December 2011.


 
  Dr Elias Malete
  PanSALB Chairperson Resigns
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) would like to announce that Dr Elias Malete tendered his resignation with effect Monday, 12 September 2011.

“After agonising soul searching, I have decided to step down as Chairperson of the Board. What has transpired during the last few weeks is that the relationship between the Board and the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture which is a monitoring structure of Parliament is not conducive to my continuing my role as the Chairperson,” said Dr Malete.

 

Dr Malete was appointed on 23 July 2010 as the Board Chairperson, and Ms Masindi Sadiki as Deputy, replacing Professor Sihawu Ngubane and Professor Zodwa Motsa respectively. On 16 August 2011 he was re-elected as the Chairperson with Ms Sadiki as his Deputy. The change was necessitated by the requirement of Sec 6 (2) of the PanSALB Act that “an election be held annually”.

Dr Malete has served and devoted his time in the name of language development, and in particular African languages, through PanSALB structures until he reached a stage where he was afforded the opportunity to lead PanSALB. Dr Malete tried everything at his disposal to lead the organisation under very difficult circumstances it had inherited over the years. These include the following:

 

Administrative

Since its establishment in 1997, the Board has never had a Corporate Governance Framework and charter to assist Board committees exercising their responsibilities, improve and strengthen the current corporate governance practices, policies, procedures, protocols and frameworks, until recently.

 

Legislation

It is has been the Board’s view that the PanSALB Act of 1995 as amended in 1999 has serious flaws and impacts negatively on its functioning. For instance, the Act requires that “an election be held annually”. It also makes Board members non-executive directors who are not fulltime in the organisation. Moreover, it compromises Section 181 of the Constitution as it confers powers on the Minister of Arts and Culture, and not Parliament, to appoint the Board. It also grants the Minister powers to terminate the membership of any person appointed in terms of this Act.

The Report of the ad hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions draws attention to the latter. These are some of the issues that PanSALB has raised with Parliament but to no avail.

Funding

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB would receive for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future.

 

For the record, PanSALB operates 9 Provincial Offices, 13 National Language Bodies (NLBs), 9 Provincial Language Committees (PLCs) and 11 National Lexicography Units (NLUs). Through these structures PanSALB has created 734 part-time and fulltime jobs.

 

At issue is that the institution is not afforded an adequate opportunity to motivate its budgetary requirements before Parliament or its relevant committees.

“I wish to thank my fellow Board members for providing the necessary political and strategic guidance. Also, my appreciation goes to the Accounting Officer and his staff for their commitment to ensuring that PanSALB delivers on its constitutional mandate,” Dr Malete said.

As a result of the resignation of Dr Malete the Board urgently convened an extraordinary session where Professor Sihawu Ngubane was elected as its new Chairperson and Ms Masindi Sadiki was retained as Deputy.

 

The Board also considered the resignation of the Acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu. After deliberating on the matter the Board requested the Acting CEO to reconsider his resignation and continue to act in this capacity.

 

“I am pleased to announce that Mr Swepu will continue acting as the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, until the position is filled and has the full support of the Board,” announced Professor Ngubane

 

End

 

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638


 
  Mr Chris Swepu - Acting Chief Executive Officer
  PanSALB celebrates a third successive unqualified audit opinion from AGSA
 

The Pan South African Language Board today welcomed its third successive unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General South Africa. Speaking from Pretoria, the Acting CEO of PanSALB, Mr Chris Swepu, thanked the Board for its support and his staff for their patience during trying times. Swepu added “the cooperation between management and the Board has made this turnaround possible. Our staff members have endured throughout our tough approach to compliance. For this we wish to thank them as well.”

 

The three successive clean audits signal a huge turnaround from the disclaimer of audit opinion the organisation received three years ago. PanSALB is hoping that its performance, as alluded to by the AGSA report, will lead to better funding in the new financial year. “Our country needs a financial model that recognises good corporate governance. The President of the republic has on numerous occasion called on public institutions to clean up their act and work towards clean audit reports; we have done just that and are determined to continue to excel and execute our mandate to the best of our ability,” Swepu added.

 

However, like many critical state organs, PanSALB continues to have a serious challenge with underfunding and this prompted a request in writing to President Jacob Zuma for urgent intervention. The request for extra funding was in line with the Acting CEO’s mission to “build a model institution that would be a point of reference whenever South Africans think of good governance”.

 

Swepu thanked the Chairperson of the Board, Dr Elias Malete, for his calm and conciliatory approach to the business of the organisation. “Without a good working relationship between Chairpersons and CEOs of institutions not much is achievable,” said Swepu.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638 


 
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Legal costs to get rid of CEO justified
   
 

Compliance with South African labour laws compelled the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) to spend R5.4 million on legal fees to resolve its legal disputes with the former CEO, Mrs Ntombenhle Nkosi, said Dr Elias Malete, the Chairperson of PanSALB, in his response to concerns raised by the Democratic Alliance over the weekend.

 

Firstly, it is important to note that Mrs Nkosi was suspended pending the findings of an independent forensic investigation conducted by Nkonki Advisory Services (Nkonki). The forensic report recommended that Mrs Nkosi be charged with financial misconduct and subsequently, fourteen (14) charges were brought against her.

 

These included the following among others: Failure to Appoint a Bid Adjudication Committee in Writing, Contravention of Treasury Regulations, Contravening Regulation 15(1) (a) of the PanSALB Regulations, Making Incorrect Statements, Financial Misconduct, and other charges.

Secondly, the enquiry which was delayed predominantly by court actions by Mrs Nkosi finally took place over several days from December 2010 to February 2011. The hearing was concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

Thirdly, as a measure to compel Mrs Nkosi not to continue delaying her hearing, PanSALB tried to stop Mrs Nkosi’s salary on 09 December 2009. She took the organisation to the Labour Court which unfortunately ruled against PanSALB and forced the organisation to reinstate her salary. The organisation also tried to negotiate a settlement to buy her out of the remainder of the contract, but Mrs Nkosi turned down the offer.

 

“Whilst we share the concern about legal costs and the payment of a salary to Mrs Nkosi for so long, we however wish to point out that our responsibility is to observe the laws of the country. Mrs Nkosi was on a precautionary suspension and as such was deemed innocent until proven guilty. The Labour Relations Act provides for such protection and as such PanSALB merely complied”. As much as we share the concerns of the DA, unfortunately it was an issue that we as the Board had little control over, as the matter went in and out of the courts. We had a duty to defend our actions and the integrity of our institution in the management of public funds.” said Dr Malete.

 

Mrs Nkosi was suspended on 20 February 2009 as a result of allegations of financial mismanagement against her and her case was only concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

On 08 June 2011 Mrs Nkosi was found guilty and on 24 June 2011 the Chairperson of the enquiry recommended that she be dismissed. The Board endorsed the recommendation thus dismissed Mrs Nkosi since her charges were of serious nature and involved mismanagement of taxpayers money.

 

The Board is pleased that the matter was concluded in this manner internally and wishes to point out that Mrs Nkosi continues to enjoy the right to appeal and to pursue the matter further as provided for in the laws of the country.

 

“We will continue to build a better organisation to deliver multilingualism to our people and to ensure that the provisions of language parity of esteem as enshrined in our constitution are observed. We welcome criticism from every sector of the society as we undertake this mammoth task but such criticism must be constructive and within appropriate context”, Malete added.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel: 012 341 9638


 
     
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Setting the record straight on alleged corruption
   
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) wishes to correct some misinformation being presented regarding allegations of corruption taking place within the organisation.

“For the record I want to emphasise that PanSALB is one of the few organisations that have managed to get an unqualified audit from the South African Auditor-General for the past two years. It’s very saddening to now hear accusations that the organisation is corrupt,” said Dr Elias Malete, Chairperson of the Board.

The misinformation came about after the organisation was asked to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on Wednesday, 15 June 2011, to make a presentation on “governance and operational issues”.

Unfortunately, PanSALB did not get a chance to make its presentation because the committee was of the view that its presentation was not addressing issues like allegations about suspected corruption which were made by a dismissed employee.

Dr Malete explains, “The allegations are not new and the Board had previously briefed the committee on the matter. The Board had hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate the allegations, including the claim that the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Swepu, had faked his qualifications. All these allegations were false, spread by a former employee who was bent on destroying the reputation of the Board.

“We presented the findings of the audit to the Portfolio Committee while Dr Tshenuwani Farisani was still the Chairperson. It took us by surprise to learn that the committee is still interested in pursuing this matter further. Had we been asked to include this matter in our presentation we would have done so but unfortunately the request from the committee did not specifically mentioned it,” added Dr Malete.

He further stated that the Board stood firmly behind the leadership of its acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu and his team. “They have been transparent with the Board on all matters and have taken us to greater heights,” he said.

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the South African Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB received for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future. The Board did alert Parliament to this situation as early as 2009.

It is disheartening to report that the organisation is now on its knees financially and this is having undesirable results – the suspension of all projects and programmes for the current financial year and high staff turnover. According to Dr Malete, this is the real issue that is affecting the performance of the organisation and not corruption as reported. He also confirmed that the Board has written to President Zuma requesting urgent intervention.

“We wish that Parliament would start listening to us and take these issues we are tabling before them seriously. It is saddening to say the least that such an opportunity is given to a trumped-up story made by a discredited source,” concluded Dr Malete.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi
Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing
Tel 012 341 9638

PanSALB calls for a South African Languages Act with punitive measures

On 17-18 January 2012, The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture held public hearings on the government’s proposed SA Languages Bill which have revealed that most participants agreed that the bill as it stood was inadequate.

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) also added its voice in this ground breaking piece of legislation. In its current form we believe the Bill will fall short in addressing our country’s inequitable language use.

Our first point of departure was that the bill is unlikely to give effect to the government’s constitutional obligation. Government is expected to “take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of (indigenous languages)” and to ensure all 11 official languages “enjoy parity of esteem and… (are) treated equitably”.

 

Most importantly, the bill lacks the necessary mechanism to deal with language rights violators and fails to offer remedies to the victims of such violations.

 

Our submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity.

 

Please click here to view our submission


South African Languages Bill – Make Your Voice Heard

 

In 2009 an attorney from Brits, one Cornelius Lourens, in an endeavour to force the promulgation of the South African Languages Bill of 2003, made an application to court that government was in violation of the Constitution (Lourens vs The President of the Republic of South Africa and others, 2009). Lourens’s application was successful and government was given two years to promulgate a Languages Act. This would be the first national languages act in South Africa.

 

In response the Department of Arts and Culture has drafted the attached South African Languages Bill which is now before the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture. According to the attached Notice from Parliament, public submissions are now being called for.

 

PanSALB has prepared its submission on the Bill, which is attached here. The submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity. Canada’s renowned Bill 101 of the Charter of the French Language is regarded as a model national language act and is indeed considered to be a successful form of intervention. The same view prevails, to a varying extent, with regard to the role of national language acts in other countries and regions, including Catalonia, Scotland, Wales, Serbia and the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states.

 

However, the SA Languages Bill in its current form falls short of addressing our country’s inequitable language use. We therefore call on all groups and individuals interested in language to make their voice heard on this Bill by making a submission to the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

All submissions must be addressed to Mr Johnny van der Westhuizen (tel: 021 403 3714, cell: 083 709 8389), Committee Secretary, Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

Submissions must be received no later than 12:00 on Monday, 12 December 2011 and can be made in the following ways:

Public hearings on the Bill will be held in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 and Wednesday, 18 January 2012.

 

Should you wish to make further suggestions for PanSALB’s submission, please contact Advocate Linda Ramadi-Adebola on 012 341 9638 or email her on: lindak@pansalb.org.za on or before 7 December 2011.


 
  Dr Elias Malete
  PanSALB Chairperson Resigns
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) would like to announce that Dr Elias Malete tendered his resignation with effect Monday, 12 September 2011.

“After agonising soul searching, I have decided to step down as Chairperson of the Board. What has transpired during the last few weeks is that the relationship between the Board and the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture which is a monitoring structure of Parliament is not conducive to my continuing my role as the Chairperson,” said Dr Malete.

 

Dr Malete was appointed on 23 July 2010 as the Board Chairperson, and Ms Masindi Sadiki as Deputy, replacing Professor Sihawu Ngubane and Professor Zodwa Motsa respectively. On 16 August 2011 he was re-elected as the Chairperson with Ms Sadiki as his Deputy. The change was necessitated by the requirement of Sec 6 (2) of the PanSALB Act that “an election be held annually”.

Dr Malete has served and devoted his time in the name of language development, and in particular African languages, through PanSALB structures until he reached a stage where he was afforded the opportunity to lead PanSALB. Dr Malete tried everything at his disposal to lead the organisation under very difficult circumstances it had inherited over the years. These include the following:

 

Administrative

Since its establishment in 1997, the Board has never had a Corporate Governance Framework and charter to assist Board committees exercising their responsibilities, improve and strengthen the current corporate governance practices, policies, procedures, protocols and frameworks, until recently.

 

Legislation

It is has been the Board’s view that the PanSALB Act of 1995 as amended in 1999 has serious flaws and impacts negatively on its functioning. For instance, the Act requires that “an election be held annually”. It also makes Board members non-executive directors who are not fulltime in the organisation. Moreover, it compromises Section 181 of the Constitution as it confers powers on the Minister of Arts and Culture, and not Parliament, to appoint the Board. It also grants the Minister powers to terminate the membership of any person appointed in terms of this Act.

The Report of the ad hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions draws attention to the latter. These are some of the issues that PanSALB has raised with Parliament but to no avail.

Funding

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB would receive for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future.

 

For the record, PanSALB operates 9 Provincial Offices, 13 National Language Bodies (NLBs), 9 Provincial Language Committees (PLCs) and 11 National Lexicography Units (NLUs). Through these structures PanSALB has created 734 part-time and fulltime jobs.

 

At issue is that the institution is not afforded an adequate opportunity to motivate its budgetary requirements before Parliament or its relevant committees.

“I wish to thank my fellow Board members for providing the necessary political and strategic guidance. Also, my appreciation goes to the Accounting Officer and his staff for their commitment to ensuring that PanSALB delivers on its constitutional mandate,” Dr Malete said.

As a result of the resignation of Dr Malete the Board urgently convened an extraordinary session where Professor Sihawu Ngubane was elected as its new Chairperson and Ms Masindi Sadiki was retained as Deputy.

 

The Board also considered the resignation of the Acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu. After deliberating on the matter the Board requested the Acting CEO to reconsider his resignation and continue to act in this capacity.

 

“I am pleased to announce that Mr Swepu will continue acting as the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, until the position is filled and has the full support of the Board,” announced Professor Ngubane

 

End

 

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638


 
  Mr Chris Swepu - Acting Chief Executive Officer
  PanSALB celebrates a third successive unqualified audit opinion from AGSA
 

The Pan South African Language Board today welcomed its third successive unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General South Africa. Speaking from Pretoria, the Acting CEO of PanSALB, Mr Chris Swepu, thanked the Board for its support and his staff for their patience during trying times. Swepu added “the cooperation between management and the Board has made this turnaround possible. Our staff members have endured throughout our tough approach to compliance. For this we wish to thank them as well.”

 

The three successive clean audits signal a huge turnaround from the disclaimer of audit opinion the organisation received three years ago. PanSALB is hoping that its performance, as alluded to by the AGSA report, will lead to better funding in the new financial year. “Our country needs a financial model that recognises good corporate governance. The President of the republic has on numerous occasion called on public institutions to clean up their act and work towards clean audit reports; we have done just that and are determined to continue to excel and execute our mandate to the best of our ability,” Swepu added.

 

However, like many critical state organs, PanSALB continues to have a serious challenge with underfunding and this prompted a request in writing to President Jacob Zuma for urgent intervention. The request for extra funding was in line with the Acting CEO’s mission to “build a model institution that would be a point of reference whenever South Africans think of good governance”.

 

Swepu thanked the Chairperson of the Board, Dr Elias Malete, for his calm and conciliatory approach to the business of the organisation. “Without a good working relationship between Chairpersons and CEOs of institutions not much is achievable,” said Swepu.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638 


 
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Legal costs to get rid of CEO justified
   
 

Compliance with South African labour laws compelled the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) to spend R5.4 million on legal fees to resolve its legal disputes with the former CEO, Mrs Ntombenhle Nkosi, said Dr Elias Malete, the Chairperson of PanSALB, in his response to concerns raised by the Democratic Alliance over the weekend.

 

Firstly, it is important to note that Mrs Nkosi was suspended pending the findings of an independent forensic investigation conducted by Nkonki Advisory Services (Nkonki). The forensic report recommended that Mrs Nkosi be charged with financial misconduct and subsequently, fourteen (14) charges were brought against her.

 

These included the following among others: Failure to Appoint a Bid Adjudication Committee in Writing, Contravention of Treasury Regulations, Contravening Regulation 15(1) (a) of the PanSALB Regulations, Making Incorrect Statements, Financial Misconduct, and other charges.

Secondly, the enquiry which was delayed predominantly by court actions by Mrs Nkosi finally took place over several days from December 2010 to February 2011. The hearing was concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

Thirdly, as a measure to compel Mrs Nkosi not to continue delaying her hearing, PanSALB tried to stop Mrs Nkosi’s salary on 09 December 2009. She took the organisation to the Labour Court which unfortunately ruled against PanSALB and forced the organisation to reinstate her salary. The organisation also tried to negotiate a settlement to buy her out of the remainder of the contract, but Mrs Nkosi turned down the offer.

 

“Whilst we share the concern about legal costs and the payment of a salary to Mrs Nkosi for so long, we however wish to point out that our responsibility is to observe the laws of the country. Mrs Nkosi was on a precautionary suspension and as such was deemed innocent until proven guilty. The Labour Relations Act provides for such protection and as such PanSALB merely complied”. As much as we share the concerns of the DA, unfortunately it was an issue that we as the Board had little control over, as the matter went in and out of the courts. We had a duty to defend our actions and the integrity of our institution in the management of public funds.” said Dr Malete.

 

Mrs Nkosi was suspended on 20 February 2009 as a result of allegations of financial mismanagement against her and her case was only concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

On 08 June 2011 Mrs Nkosi was found guilty and on 24 June 2011 the Chairperson of the enquiry recommended that she be dismissed. The Board endorsed the recommendation thus dismissed Mrs Nkosi since her charges were of serious nature and involved mismanagement of taxpayers money.

 

The Board is pleased that the matter was concluded in this manner internally and wishes to point out that Mrs Nkosi continues to enjoy the right to appeal and to pursue the matter further as provided for in the laws of the country.

 

“We will continue to build a better organisation to deliver multilingualism to our people and to ensure that the provisions of language parity of esteem as enshrined in our constitution are observed. We welcome criticism from every sector of the society as we undertake this mammoth task but such criticism must be constructive and within appropriate context”, Malete added.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel: 012 341 9638


 
     
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Setting the record straight on alleged corruption
   
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) wishes to correct some misinformation being presented regarding allegations of corruption taking place within the organisation.

“For the record I want to emphasise that PanSALB is one of the few organisations that have managed to get an unqualified audit from the South African Auditor-General for the past two years. It’s very saddening to now hear accusations that the organisation is corrupt,” said Dr Elias Malete, Chairperson of the Board.

The misinformation came about after the organisation was asked to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on Wednesday, 15 June 2011, to make a presentation on “governance and operational issues”.

Unfortunately, PanSALB did not get a chance to make its presentation because the committee was of the view that its presentation was not addressing issues like allegations about suspected corruption which were made by a dismissed employee.

Dr Malete explains, “The allegations are not new and the Board had previously briefed the committee on the matter. The Board had hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate the allegations, including the claim that the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Swepu, had faked his qualifications. All these allegations were false, spread by a former employee who was bent on destroying the reputation of the Board.

“We presented the findings of the audit to the Portfolio Committee while Dr Tshenuwani Farisani was still the Chairperson. It took us by surprise to learn that the committee is still interested in pursuing this matter further. Had we been asked to include this matter in our presentation we would have done so but unfortunately the request from the committee did not specifically mentioned it,” added Dr Malete.

He further stated that the Board stood firmly behind the leadership of its acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu and his team. “They have been transparent with the Board on all matters and have taken us to greater heights,” he said.

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the South African Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB received for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future. The Board did alert Parliament to this situation as early as 2009.

It is disheartening to report that the organisation is now on its knees financially and this is having undesirable results – the suspension of all projects and programmes for the current financial year and high staff turnover. According to Dr Malete, this is the real issue that is affecting the performance of the organisation and not corruption as reported. He also confirmed that the Board has written to President Zuma requesting urgent intervention.

“We wish that Parliament would start listening to us and take these issues we are tabling before them seriously. It is saddening to say the least that such an opportunity is given to a trumped-up story made by a discredited source,” concluded Dr Malete.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi
Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing
Tel 012 341 9638

Unisa and PanSALB to host an African languages book launch

 The University of South Africa (Unisa) and the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will jointly host a book launch of 18 titles in African languages, representing ten official languages in South Africa, at Unisa’s Main Campus on Friday, 23 May 2014.

The book launch is part and parcel of the joint vision of both Unisa and PANSALB aimed at the growth and development of previously marginalised languages, with the publishing of African literature as one of the key vehicles towards meeting this objective.

The initiative resonates fully with Unisa’s own language policy, which promotes ‘functional multilingualism in order to accommodate linguistic diversity; as well as PanSALB’s own mandate to promote multilingualism in South Africa by fostering the development of 11 official languages, while also encouraging the use of the many other languages spoken in the country.

Speakers at the launch, who will include Unisa’s Vice Principal for Research and Innovation, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB, Mr Mxolisi Zwane and several African languages academic experts, will explore key challenges and opportunities related to the development of African languages.

The media is invited to attend and cover the event. The details are as follows:
Date     :           Friday, 20 May 2014
Time     :           09:00 for 09:30
Venue   :           Function Hall, 4th Floor, Kgorong Building, Unisa Main Campus, Preller
Street, Muckleneuk Ridge, Tshwane
Enquiries and interview requests: Ms Veronica Mkhabela of Unisa @ 084 726 1360 or Mr Siphiwe Mabasa of PanSALB @ 071 384 5361.         
-Ends-

Issued by                                           :        Sibusiso Nkosi
                                                            :        Senior Manager: Communication and Promotion
                                                            :        Tel. 012 341 9638
                                                            :        Mobile. 082855 4436
Date                                                    :        20 May 2014


PanSALB commemorates World Read Aloud Day

 Every first Wednesday of March annually has been declared as the World Read Aloud Day by LitWord.

The World Read Aloud Day is an initiative aimed at advocating for literacy as a fundamental human right, as a foundation for emotional and physical well-being, intellectual growth and economic security for both children and adults.

It is an initiative aimed at fostering resilience, hope and joy through the power of storytelling and reading

“As an institution established to foster  respect and recognition to all official languages in the country, PanSALB  support this  fundamental human right initiative and we are of the  view  that  it should be nurtured at all  times to  equip our people” said Mxolisi Zwane the Caretaker  Chief  Executive Officer, of PanSALB.

LitWorld estimate that 793 million people across the world are illiterate and that includes South Africa.  Therefore, it is crucial that we support this initiative to continue with the fundamental importance of reading in the country.

This year World Read Aloud Day is commemorated on Wednesday, 05 March under the theme “Imagine a world where everyone can read”

In support of this programme, PanSALB will today inaugurate 29 Tshivenda  school based reading clubs at Thilamba Hall in Vhembe district municipality  together with the Regional Office of the Department of Basic Education.

Through its literature and media portfolio, PanSALB will distribute books to these reading clubs to inculcate the culture of reading in the country.

PanSALB believes such programmes will assist to grow the country, particularly the level of reading and writing not only to this children of the country but to its entire citizen.


Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) commemorates International Mother Language  Day
As we commemorate 14 years of International Mother Tongue Day on 21 February, Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) note with disappointment the repudiation of local languages by publishers. This is in defiance to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisations’ (UNESCO) initiative of protecting and promoting mother languages as keys to global citizenship. During the past four years the isiXhosa National Lexicography Unit (XNLU) which is a structure of PanSALB has been engaged in a lexical development initiative for the school subjects of Mathematics and Science, defining concepts and providing equivalent terms in isiXhosa in order to enhance the teaching and learning of these subjects for isiXhosa-speaking learners. The terminology list which forms the basis of the dictionary produced is intended for teachers and learners in the intermediate and senior phase of primary schooling. This project was born out of a broad consultative terminology development process that involved subject teachers, subject experts, linguists, translators and terminologists in the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces.
However, the project has been derailed by publishers who are not keen to publish the material. “They are not taking African languages seriously hence the XNLU is still stuck with this manuscript,” lamented Mr Mxolisi Zwane, Caretaker Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB.

Together with our stakeholders, we are in a process of trying to find a solution to this mammoth problem. These include the possibility of forming a publishing house. Over the years PanSALB has celebrated this day by organising activities, conferences, concerts and seminars around the country. However,   this year’s celebrations in South Africa will be marked by the launch of the IsiNdebele Monolingual and Tri-lingual dictionaries at KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga taking place on Monday, 24th February.

With the previous census results showing a decline in the use of mother languages in South African households, with the exception of isiNdebele, the two dictionaries are an encouraging sign in the preservation of the mother language tongue in the country, Mr Zwane proceeded to say.
When announcing the 2014 International Mother Language Day theme, Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, said indigenous languages are perfectly capable of transmitting the most modern scientific knowledge in mathematics, physics and technology, which is what the isiXhosa Math and Science dictionary will achieve in the country’s educational space if given a chance.

The debate to educate or not to educate in mother languages in South Africa’s classrooms continues; countries such as China and India show and demonstrate that it is possible to educate in a mother tongue and achieve great results, as both countries are producing well sought after scientists and mathematicians. We will continue to work with government and our partners to ensure that South African indigenous languages are not excluded from their fundamental human right to scientific knowledge.

Issued by Zanenza Communications on behalf of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB).

South African Sign Language finally given recognition it deserve in the country

Following the state of the nation address by his excellence, President Jacob Zuma last night, 13 February 2014, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) would like to acknowledge a positive recognition that has finally been given to the South African Sign Language.

This is indeed a positive response not only to deaf communities living with the disabilities, but also to the entire country particularly to those who wish to further study sign language

PanSALB is of the view that South African Sign Language like any other official language is a fundamental human right that should be treated equally. “We have made several crucial calls to government to prioritise sign language like any other formal language and efforts have for a very long time drawn blank. This was done on the basis that we believe it has been violated and marginalised as compared to other languages” said the acting Care Taker Chief Executive Officer, Mxolisi Zwane.

“As it is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, we believe all languages are equal and that it should all be given the recognition, respect and publicity it deserves” added Mr Zwane.

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) believes teaching South African Sign Language from school level will also regulate and limit challenges of incorrect Sign Language interpreters such as the one at the memorial service proceeding of the former state president Nelson Mandela.

PanSALB is adamant that this positive response will also help the country in nurturing the unique heritage of multilingualism.

PanSALB is deeply humbled that the response also came at the right time, where the country will be commemorating the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2014.

As the institution has been mandated to actively promote an awareness of multilingualism as a national resource and previously marginalised languages, responses such as this will assist us in monitoring the development and progress of our work in the public domain to ensure that respect and equality in the right of our languages are seen in practice.

South Africa commemorates twenty years of freedom this year and we believe all official languages will also enjoy the freedom they deserve.

We are looking forward to working with the department of education to ensure that the provision of South African Sign Language become a success and contributes immensely to all needy citizens and respects those living with a deaf disability in the country.


PanSALB TO HOST LANGUAGE COLLOQUIUMS IN THE COUNTRY

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is scheduled to host language colloquiums throughout the country as part of its effort to fulfill its constitutional obligation.

The theme of these colloquiums is “Multilingualism in South Africa in relation to research, development, usage and promotion”.

 

Objective of the colloquiums

The objectives of the colloquiums are:

  • To open an academic debate on language matters in line with the Use of Official Languages Act, 2012;
  • To debate new trends on the development and implementation of mother tongue education (The Incremental Introduction of African Languages in South African Schools 2013) implications
  • To present researched work on issues addressing multilingual education in South African universities
  • To find solutions to challenges on the development of the indigenous languages/African languages including South African Sign Language, Khoi, Nama and San languages
  • To create  awareness of language use
  • To facilitate the creation of society that is knowledgeable about languages
  • To deliver services that create a conducive environment for languages  

Details of the colloquium are as follows:

Gauteng: Wednesday, 16 October 2013 – Mirriam Makeba Hall, University of South Africa (UNISA), Main Campus in Pretoria

Western Cape: Friday, 18 October 2013 – Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville Campus

Limpopo: Friday, 25 October 2013 – University of Venda, Thohoyandou in Limpopo.


 
 
 
  Mr Mxolisi Zwane - Acting Chief Executive Officer - PanSALB
 

WORLD FOCUS ON LANGUAGE RIGHTS

 

Although great strides have been made in South Africa on the fight against language inequality and discrimination, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is not yet pleased; an International Conference on Language Rights was told.

 

Mxolisi Zwane, Acting Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB divulged this at the weekend in Dublin, Ireland where representatives of over 15 countries gathered, to share best practices, exchange information and lessons learnt in the area of languages.

“We can only be satisfied once we are a nation that acts intentionally about its mother languages / tongue while promoting multilingualism because language is a fundamental human rights issue,” said Zwane.

 

This can be achieved if PanSALB’s resources can be supplemented to ensure that it is well positioned to provide well needed monitoring services. In that way we will be in a position to meet our Constitutional objectives.

 

“We will also engage with law makers with the aim of amending the PanSALB Act which is currently limiting PanSALB’ ability to enforce its decisions,” Zwane said.

 

The latest accomplishment by the government in introducing the Use of Official Languages Act, 2012, which makes it compulsory for all state institutions to at least publish their official documents in at least three official languages, is a historical milestone.

 

The announcement by the University of KwaZulu-Natal to introduce isiZulu as a compulsory course will allow students to demonstrate bilingualism while earning their degree. PanSALB lauds the decision made by the Department of Basic Education making it obligatory for all Grade R pupils to learn an African language – as early as next year. It is commendable that South Africa is making strides in language rights issues.

 

One of the important resolutions of the conference was the proposal to form the International Association of Language Rights Commissioners. Zwane said that South Africa through PanSALB will initiate the establishment of the African Association to encourage other countries to develop and protect their indigenous languages instead of those of their colonisers.

 

“We would like to have such an association before the end of 2016.” he explained.

 

The conference which started from 23 May to 26 was addressed by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins who was a friend to the late Professor Kader Asmal. The conference had representatives from Canada, Kosovo, Finland, Wales and many others countries.

 

Released on behalf of PanSALB : Sibusiso Nkosi
: Manager: Communication and Promotion
: Tel 012 341 9638
: Mobile 082 855 4436
Date : 27 May 2013


 

PanSALB to host Gauteng Language Indaba

 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) cordially invites members of the media to a one- day Language Indaba to be held on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus in Soweto.

 

This is a third in a series of Indabas to take place in all the nine provinces in the country.  So far we had the North West and Free State Indabas.  The purpose of the Language Indabas is to conduct state of readiness of the country to comply with the Use of Official Language Act of 2012.

 

The Act was promulgated in October 2012 and makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the general public.

 

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them when it comes to provincial language matters.

 

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Gauteng portfolio committee on Arts and Culture, Department of Education, National House of Traditional Leaders and many institutions are expected to form part of the Indaba.


 

Indaba to Audit Language Status in the Country

As from Wednesday, 29 May 2013, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will commence with its programme of auditing the country’s readiness to comply with the Use of Official Languages Act of 2012.

The Act which was promulgated in October 2012 makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the public.

It also gives all national departments, public entities and enterprises 18 months to establish a language unit and comply with its provisions.

“It is now more than six months since the Act was promulgated and we think it is proper as per section 9 of the Act to perform our monitoring functions so that we can report back to Parliament about our findings,” explained Mxolisi Zwane, Acting Chief Executive Officer (ACEO) of PanSALB.

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them on provincial language matters.

“This is why our programme is taking us into the heart of the country, before coming back to deal with the national issues,” Zwane added.

The Language Indabas will commence tomorrow, 29 May, Mahikeng in the North West Province. PanSALB is hoping to use these platforms to strengthen its partnerships with stakeholders and various sectors of society to significantly create awareness about language human rights and to protect and preserve multilingualism in the country. In addition, the platforms are expected to identify language related challenges with the aim of finding solutions.

The Provincial Language Indabas will be running from May-July 2013. Provincial MECs’ of Arts and Culture, Mayors, State Law Advisors, House of Traditional Leaders, institutions of higher learning (Universities) are expected to form part of the Indabas.

“Once we are done with the provincial programme, we will host a national language indaba to deal with national issues,” Zwane declared.

At the end of the day, language communities need to become empowered and need to recognise the social, educational and economic potential of their languages if multilingualism is to take root as a positive force in this country.

For more information on the provincial schedules of the indabas members of the public are advised to click here
---End---

Released on behalf of PanSALB : Sibusiso Nkosi
: Manager: Communication and Promotion
: Tel 012 341 9638
: Mobile 082 855 4436
Date : 28 May 2013


 

Indaba to Audit Language Status in the Country

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) cordially invites members of the media to a one- day Language Indaba to be held on Thursday, 06 June 2013 at Bloemfontein President Hotel in the Free State.

The purpose of the Language Indabas is aimed at auditing the country’s readiness to comply with the Use of Official Language Act of 2012.

The Act was promulgated in October 2012 and makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the general public.

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them when it comes to provincial language matters.

The Free State Arts and Culture Department, representatives of the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor, Free State House of Traditional Leaders, Institutions of higher learning and many other stakeholders re expected to form part of the Indaba.

End

All media are invited as follows:

Date : Thursday, 06 June 2013
Time : 08:30
Venue : Bloemfontein – President Hotel, Bloemfontein in Free State
RSVP : Mr Siphiwe Mabasa, siphiwe@pansalb.org.za / 012 341 9638
Enquiries : Mr Siphiwe Mabasa, 071 3845 361


 

REST IN PEACE QABANE

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) would like to add its voice of condolence to the Mbuli family about the passing of Vuyo Mbuli, iqabane of multilingualism.

This is indeed a colossal loss not only to the media and language fraternity, but also to the entire country.

Mbuli as affectionately known was not only a media mogul but also a cadre of the language movement, Mbuli largely and positively contributed to the promotion, preservation and protection of indigenous languages in the country. His introduction of topics with different languages during morning live has contributed immensely to multilingualism in the country.

In 2005 PanSALB awarded Mbuli with the Multilingualism Award in recognition of his commitment to multilingualism in the country. The objective of the PanSALB Multilingualism Awards is to promote and recognise exceptional work in the promotion of all official and other South African languages.

PanSALB would like to extend its sincere sympathy to his family, media, linguistic community and the society at large.

The country has indeed been robbed of a media stalwart, a multilingual icon with an original sense of humour.

His positive work will remain active with us in spirit and may his soul rest in peace.

---Ends---

Released on behalf of PanSALB: Sibusiso Nkosi
: Manager: Communication and Promotions
: Tel. 012 341 9638
: Mobile 082 855 4436

Date : 19 May 2013


 

PanSALB welcomes the African languages school plan

 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) welcomes the move by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) to introduce isiZulu language as a compulsory course to allow students to demonstrate bilingualism to earn their degrees.

 

This is definitely a watershed moment in the history of our education system. It offers us an opportunity to reclaim the value of linguistic pluralism in South Africa, and in so doing to rediscover a hidden store of knowledge.

As such, language is a critical factor influencing education outcomes and is a determinant of scholastic and career performance. Language forms the basis for conceptualisation and understanding. In its absence important skills and knowledge, including numeracy, cannot be transferred. This in turn impacts on the availability of a variety of much-needed skills in South Africa, thus perpertuating on unemployment in the long term.

Language should enhance equality and equitability. It should unite South Africans and not create distances. All speakers of official languages should be granted the same opportunity to use and develop their language. South Africa has a unique heritage of multilingualism which should be nurtured and developed. This will lead to social cohesion. 

 

If it was possible, "by whatever means necessary" to successfully develop Afrikaans from a kombuis taal into a language capable of carrying all knowledge, including nuclear science and heart transplantation, so it is possible to do the same for the African languages.

“We cannot continue to create a situation in which African children are made to leave their African languages at the gates of learning,” said Mr Mxolisi Zwane, Acting Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB. 

The ideals enshrined in our constitution on language have to be socially engaged. This is necessary as there is an intrinsic and primordial connection between language, culture and identity.

Policies will need to be put in place that will take us beyond UKZN to the foundation phase of our education system where it will equip our learners from childhood development of our education.  In this regard, language as a national heritage will be preserved and maintained.

At the end of the day, the language communities need to become empowered and need to recognise the social, educational and economic potential of their languages if multilingualism is to take root as a positive force in this country.

Ultimately, PanSALB wants to stimulate the empowerment of language communities to recognise both the sentimental and instrumental value of their languages. Multilingualism will take root as a positive force in this country when all our languages are valued in society at large.

Released on behalf of PanSALB
Sibusiso Nkosi: Manager: Communication and Promotion
Tel: 012 341 9638:
Mobile: 082 855 4436 
Date: 17 May 2013


 

Indaba to Audit Language Status in the Country

As from Wednesday, 29 May 2013, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will commence with its programme of auditing the country’s readiness to comply with the Use of Official Languages Act of 2012.

The Act which was promulgated in October 2012 makes it compulsory for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to at least use three languages to effectively communicate with the public.

It also gives all national departments, public entities and enterprises 18 months to establish a language unit and comply with its provisions.

“It is now more than six months since the Act was promulgated and we think it is proper as per section 9 of the Act to perform our monitoring functions so that we can report back to Parliament about our findings,” explained Mxolisi Zwane, Acting Chief Executive Officer (ACEO) of PanSALB.

Provincial governments are expected to follow suite in promulgating their own Acts to guide them on provincial language matters.

“This is why our programme is taking us into the heart of the country, before coming back to deal with the national issues,” Zwane added.

The Language Indabas will commence tomorrow, 29 May, Mahikeng in the North West Province. PanSALB is hoping to use these platforms to strengthen its partnerships with stakeholders and various sectors of society to significantly create awareness about language human rights and to protect and preserve multilingualism in the country. In addition, the platforms are expected to identify language related challenges with the aim of finding solutions.

The Provincial Language Indabas will be running from May-July 2013. Provincial MECs’ of Arts and Culture, Mayors, State Law Advisors, House of Traditional Leaders, institutions of higher learning (Universities) are expected to form part of the Indabas.

“Once we are done with the provincial programme, we will host a national language indaba to deal with national issues,” Zwane declared.

At the end of the day, language communities need to become empowered and need to recognise the social, educational and economic potential of their languages if multilingualism is to take root as a positive force in this country.

For more information on the provincial schedules of the indabas members of the public are advised to visit our website; www.pansalb.org.za
---End---

Released on behalf of PanSALB : Sibusiso Nkosi
: Manager: Communication and Promotion
: Tel 012 341 9638
: Mobile 082 855 4436
Date : 28 May 2013


  PanSALB celebrates International Mother Language Day
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), on Thursday 21 February 2013, celebrated International Mother Language Day at a commemorative event held in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. The day, established by UNESCO in 1999, seeks to promote the dissemination of mother tongues and a fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world.

PanSALB views this day as significant on the international calendar for promotion and development of language and cultures hence, all provincial structures will be celebrating the day throughout the month of February to entrench pride and awareness for home languages.

Ms TB Sunduza, Chairperson of The Portfolio Committee for Arts and Culture, delivered the keynote address amongst other speakers such as, key stakeholder representatives from the National Heritage Council, the SABC, the National House of Traditional Leaders and the African Renaissance.

“As the Department of Arts and Culture, the development and promotion of the official languages and enhancement of the linguistic diversity of the country, is one of our core values. Our language plays an essential role in social development”, said Sunduza.

As a milestone in its celebrations, PanSALB also launched a scholarship in honor of the linguist icon, activist and scholar, Professor Neville Alexander. The scholarship aims to promote and encourage academic excellence and research in indigenous languages for scholars nationwide. It further seeks to support matriculants who wish to purse linguistic studies at tertiary level.

Professor Alexander was at the forefront of multilingualism and is one of the greatest advocates of linguistic diversity and mother tongue education in South Africa and we saw it fitting to honour him on this International Mother Language Day said Mxolisi Zwane, PanSALB Chairperson.

Established in 1995 as a constitutional entity, PanSALB promotes and creates conditions for the development and use of all official languages in SA including, the Khoi, San and Nama as well as the SA sign language. Its role includes amongst others the promotion, preservation as well as the monitoring of language use by all state organs

We must encourage the use and development of our mother tongue. Our languages must be preserved for generations to come and as such, its important that our children are nurtured and raised to be proud and eloquent in their mother languages. concluded Zwane.

All information pertaining to the scholarship and application process will be availed on our website from March 2013.  Website: www.pansalb.org.za.

Issued for and on behalf of PanSALB by Zanenza Communications.

For interview opportunities with Mxolisi Zwane, PanSALB Chairperson contact:

Thango Gombiza
Tel: 011 886 3775
Cell: 079 5484 264
E-mail:  thango@zanenza.co.za


     
 
  Mr Mxolisi Zwane- Caretaker CEO
  A tribute to Professor Neville Alexander
 

By Mxolisi Zwane

There is a saying in my language that declares: “Kuyohamba amaqhawe kusale izibongo” which can loosely be translated into English to mean that when our heroes and heroines have departed, only their names and outstanding contributions will remain.

These words reverberated when I received the news of the passing away of this revolutionary and struggle hero Professor Neville Alexander. Professor Alexander passed away on 27 August 2012 at the age of 75 due to illness.

Where does one begin to describe this man who has been in the forefront ofmultilingualism in the post-apartheid South Africa and one of the major advocates of linguistic diversity and mother tongue education?

As recently as April when the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande was slammed for suggesting that competency in an African or indigenous language would be a prerequisite for graduating from higher education institutions, it was Professor Alexander who came to his defence.

 

He told one publication (Daily Maverick) that there is merit to Nzimande’s plan to compel students to learn an African language, but Alexander believed that African languages must be introduced to students long before they enter universities. And eventually it will not be the work of government alone to grant African languages the much-needed cultural capital. “It will take a social movement,”

 

Language and Professor Alexander are synonymous in South Africa. He set the country’s foundation on language planning when in 1994 was asked by then Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Dr. Ben Ngubane  to lead the Language Task Group  (LangTaG) which conducted research towards the formulation of the National Language Plan for South Africa.The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) owes its existence to people like him-he was key among the people who contributed to the founding and establishment of PanSALB. He led the Board from 1996 - 1998. During his lifespan as a language activist he effectively contributed to PanSALB’s Research, Status Language Planning and Language in Education, among others.

 

In 1986 Professor Alexander helped co-ordinate the National Languages Project in South Africa. How could we forget his 1989 research that he conducted with the University of Cape Town’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy wherein it was concluded that South Africa would remain a multilingual society in spite of the emergence of English as a national means of communication in a post-apartheid society.

 

Professor Alexander was instrumental in the drafting of the South African Languages Bill of 2003 which was a better point of departure as it clearly promoted multilingualism. In 2011 when the Bill was reintroduced in Parliament as the Use of Official Languages Bill, Professor Alexander, although retired, never restrained from actively participating in issues of multilingualism. Throughout the public hearings and deliberations that took place in Parliament earlier this year, he was always present.

 

Although the Bill was tabled before Parliament on 07 August by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, unfortunately Professor Alexander would not see its implementation.

 

The heartfelt loss will not only be borne by his family but all those who knew and worked with him in promoting multilingualism in South Africa. Professor Alexander was generally a national asset and an internationally renowned language activist.  We will always benefit from his valuable linguistic body of knowledge. He has played his role and now is the time for us to carry the torch. As the saying goes: Kuyohamba amaqhawe

kusale izibongo.


PanSALB calls for a South African Languages Act with punitive measures

On 17-18 January 2012, The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture held public hearings on the government’s proposed SA Languages Bill which have revealed that most participants agreed that the bill as it stood was inadequate.

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) also added its voice in this ground breaking piece of legislation. In its current form we believe the Bill will fall short in addressing our country’s inequitable language use.

Our first point of departure was that the bill is unlikely to give effect to the government’s constitutional obligation. Government is expected to “take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of (indigenous languages)” and to ensure all 11 official languages “enjoy parity of esteem and… (are) treated equitably”.

 

Most importantly, the bill lacks the necessary mechanism to deal with language rights violators and fails to offer remedies to the victims of such violations.

 

Our submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity.

 

Please click here to view our submission


South African Languages Bill – Make Your Voice Heard

 

In 2009 an attorney from Brits, one Cornelius Lourens, in an endeavour to force the promulgation of the South African Languages Bill of 2003, made an application to court that government was in violation of the Constitution (Lourens vs The President of the Republic of South Africa and others, 2009). Lourens’s application was successful and government was given two years to promulgate a Languages Act. This would be the first national languages act in South Africa.

 

In response the Department of Arts and Culture has drafted the attached South African Languages Bill which is now before the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture. According to the attached Notice from Parliament, public submissions are now being called for.

 

PanSALB has prepared its submission on the Bill, which is attached here. The submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity. Canada’s renowned Bill 101 of the Charter of the French Language is regarded as a model national language act and is indeed considered to be a successful form of intervention. The same view prevails, to a varying extent, with regard to the role of national language acts in other countries and regions, including Catalonia, Scotland, Wales, Serbia and the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states.

 

However, the SA Languages Bill in its current form falls short of addressing our country’s inequitable language use. We therefore call on all groups and individuals interested in language to make their voice heard on this Bill by making a submission to the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

All submissions must be addressed to Mr Johnny van der Westhuizen (tel: 021 403 3714, cell: 083 709 8389), Committee Secretary, Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

Submissions must be received no later than 12:00 on Monday, 12 December 2011 and can be made in the following ways:

Public hearings on the Bill will be held in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 and Wednesday, 18 January 2012.

 

Should you wish to make further suggestions for PanSALB’s submission, please contact Advocate Linda Ramadi-Adebola on 012 341 9638 or email her on: lindak@pansalb.org.za on or before

7 December 2011.


 
  Dr Elias Malete
  PanSALB Chairperson Resigns
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) would like to announce that Dr Elias Malete tendered his resignation with effect Monday, 12 September 2011.

“After agonising soul searching, I have decided to step down as Chairperson of the Board. What has transpired during the last few weeks is that the relationship between the Board and the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture which is a monitoring structure of Parliament is not conducive to my continuing my role as the Chairperson,” said Dr Malete.

 

Dr Malete was appointed on 23 July 2010 as the Board Chairperson, and Ms Masindi Sadiki as Deputy, replacing Professor Sihawu Ngubane and Professor Zodwa Motsa respectively. On 16 August 2011 he was re-elected as the Chairperson with Ms Sadiki as his Deputy. The change was necessitated by the requirement of Sec 6 (2) of the PanSALB Act that “an election be held annually”.

Dr Malete has served and devoted his time in the name of language development, and in particular African languages, through PanSALB structures until he reached a stage where he was afforded the opportunity to lead PanSALB. Dr Malete tried everything at his disposal to lead the organisation under very difficult circumstances it had inherited over the years. These include the following:

 

Administrative

Since its establishment in 1997, the Board has never had a Corporate Governance Framework and charter to assist Board committees exercising their responsibilities, improve and strengthen the current corporate governance practices, policies, procedures, protocols and frameworks, until recently.

 

Legislation

It is has been the Board’s view that the PanSALB Act of 1995 as amended in 1999 has serious flaws and impacts negatively on its functioning. For instance, the Act requires that “an election be held annually”. It also makes Board members non-executive directors who are not fulltime in the organisation. Moreover, it compromises Section 181 of the Constitution as it confers powers on the Minister of Arts and Culture, and not Parliament, to appoint the Board. It also grants the Minister powers to terminate the membership of any person appointed in terms of this Act.

The Report of the ad hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions draws attention to the latter. These are some of the issues that PanSALB has raised with Parliament but to no avail.

Funding

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB would receive for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future.

 

For the record, PanSALB operates 9 Provincial Offices, 13 National Language Bodies (NLBs), 9 Provincial Language Committees (PLCs) and 11 National Lexicography Units (NLUs). Through these structures PanSALB has created 734 part-time and fulltime jobs.

 

At issue is that the institution is not afforded an adequate opportunity to motivate its budgetary requirements before Parliament or its relevant committees.

“I wish to thank my fellow Board members for providing the necessary political and strategic guidance. Also, my appreciation goes to the Accounting Officer and his staff for their commitment to ensuring that PanSALB delivers on its constitutional mandate,” Dr Malete said.

As a result of the resignation of Dr Malete the Board urgently convened an extraordinary session where Professor Sihawu Ngubane was elected as its new Chairperson and Ms Masindi Sadiki was retained as Deputy.

 

The Board also considered the resignation of the Acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu. After deliberating on the matter the Board requested the Acting CEO to reconsider his resignation and continue to act in this capacity.

 

“I am pleased to announce that Mr Swepu will continue acting as the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, until the position is filled and has the full support of the Board,” announced Professor Ngubane

 

End

 

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638


 
  Mr Chris Swepu - Acting Chief Executive Officer
  PanSALB celebrates a third successive unqualified audit opinion from AGSA
 

The Pan South African Language Board today welcomed its third successive unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General South Africa. Speaking from Pretoria, the Acting CEO of PanSALB, Mr Chris Swepu, thanked the Board for its support and his staff for their patience during trying times. Swepu added “the cooperation between management and the Board has made this turnaround possible. Our staff members have endured throughout our tough approach to compliance. For this we wish to thank them as well.”

 

The three successive clean audits signal a huge turnaround from the disclaimer of audit opinion the organisation received three years ago. PanSALB is hoping that its performance, as alluded to by the AGSA report, will lead to better funding in the new financial year. “Our country needs a financial model that recognises good corporate governance. The President of the republic has on numerous occasion called on public institutions to clean up their act and work towards clean audit reports; we have done just that and are determined to continue to excel and execute our mandate to the best of our ability,” Swepu added.

 

However, like many critical state organs, PanSALB continues to have a serious challenge with underfunding and this prompted a request in writing to President Jacob Zuma for urgent intervention. The request for extra funding was in line with the Acting CEO’s mission to “build a model institution that would be a point of reference whenever South Africans think of good governance”.

 

Swepu thanked the Chairperson of the Board, Dr Elias Malete, for his calm and conciliatory approach to the business of the organisation. “Without a good working relationship between Chairpersons and CEOs of institutions not much is achievable,” said Swepu.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638 


 
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Legal costs to get rid of CEO justified
   
 

Compliance with South African labour laws compelled the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) to spend R5.4 million on legal fees to resolve its legal disputes with the former CEO, Mrs Ntombenhle Nkosi, said Dr Elias Malete, the Chairperson of PanSALB, in his response to concerns raised by the Democratic Alliance over the weekend.

 

Firstly, it is important to note that Mrs Nkosi was suspended pending the findings of an independent forensic investigation conducted by Nkonki Advisory Services (Nkonki). The forensic report recommended that Mrs Nkosi be charged with financial misconduct and subsequently, fourteen (14) charges were brought against her.

 

These included the following among others: Failure to Appoint a Bid Adjudication Committee in Writing, Contravention of Treasury Regulations, Contravening Regulation 15(1) (a) of the PanSALB Regulations, Making Incorrect Statements, Financial Misconduct, and other charges.

Secondly, the enquiry which was delayed predominantly by court actions by Mrs Nkosi finally took place over several days from December 2010 to February 2011. The hearing was concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

Thirdly, as a measure to compel Mrs Nkosi not to continue delaying her hearing, PanSALB tried to stop Mrs Nkosi’s salary on 09 December 2009. She took the organisation to the Labour Court which unfortunately ruled against PanSALB and forced the organisation to reinstate her salary. The organisation also tried to negotiate a settlement to buy her out of the remainder of the contract, but Mrs Nkosi turned down the offer.

 

“Whilst we share the concern about legal costs and the payment of a salary to Mrs Nkosi for so long, we however wish to point out that our responsibility is to observe the laws of the country. Mrs Nkosi was on a precautionary suspension and as such was deemed innocent until proven guilty. The Labour Relations Act provides for such protection and as such PanSALB merely complied”. As much as we share the concerns of the DA, unfortunately it was an issue that we as the Board had little control over, as the matter went in and out of the courts. We had a duty to defend our actions and the integrity of our institution in the management of public funds.” said Dr Malete.

 

Mrs Nkosi was suspended on 20 February 2009 as a result of allegations of financial mismanagement against her and her case was only concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

On 08 June 2011 Mrs Nkosi was found guilty and on 24 June 2011 the Chairperson of the enquiry recommended that she be dismissed. The Board endorsed the recommendation thus dismissed Mrs Nkosi since her charges were of serious nature and involved mismanagement of taxpayers money.

 

The Board is pleased that the matter was concluded in this manner internally and wishes to point out that Mrs Nkosi continues to enjoy the right to appeal and to pursue the matter further as provided for in the laws of the country.

 

“We will continue to build a better organisation to deliver multilingualism to our people and to ensure that the provisions of language parity of esteem as enshrined in our constitution are observed. We welcome criticism from every sector of the society as we undertake this mammoth task but such criticism must be constructive and within appropriate context”, Malete added.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel: 012 341 9638


 
     
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Setting the record straight on alleged corruption
   
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) wishes to correct some misinformation being presented regarding allegations of corruption taking place within the organisation.

“For the record I want to emphasise that PanSALB is one of the few organisations that have managed to get an unqualified audit from the South African Auditor-General for the past two years. It’s very saddening to now hear accusations that the organisation is corrupt,” said Dr Elias Malete, Chairperson of the Board.

The misinformation came about after the organisation was asked to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on Wednesday, 15 June 2011, to make a presentation on “governance and operational issues”.

Unfortunately, PanSALB did not get a chance to make its presentation because the committee was of the view that its presentation was not addressing issues like allegations about suspected corruption which were made by a dismissed employee.

Dr Malete explains, “The allegations are not new and the Board had previously briefed the committee on the matter. The Board had hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate the allegations, including the claim that the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Swepu, had faked his qualifications. All these allegations were false, spread by a former employee who was bent on destroying the reputation of the Board.

“We presented the findings of the audit to the Portfolio Committee while Dr Tshenuwani Farisani was still the Chairperson. It took us by surprise to learn that the committee is still interested in pursuing this matter further. Had we been asked to include this matter in our presentation we would have done so but unfortunately the request from the committee did not specifically mentioned it,” added Dr Malete.

He further stated that the Board stood firmly behind the leadership of its acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu and his team. “They have been transparent with the Board on all matters and have taken us to greater heights,” he said.

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the South African Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB received for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future. The Board did alert Parliament to this situation as early as 2009.

It is disheartening to report that the organisation is now on its knees financially and this is having undesirable results – the suspension of all projects and programmes for the current financial year and high staff turnover. According to Dr Malete, this is the real issue that is affecting the performance of the organisation and not corruption as reported. He also confirmed that the Board has written to President Zuma requesting urgent intervention.

“We wish that Parliament would start listening to us and take these issues we are tabling before them seriously. It is saddening to say the least that such an opportunity is given to a trumped-up story made by a discredited source,” concluded Dr Malete.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi
Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing
Tel 012 341 9638

PanSALB calls for a South African Languages Act with punitive measures

On 17-18 January 2012, The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture held public hearings on the government’s proposed SA Languages Bill which have revealed that most participants agreed that the bill as it stood was inadequate.

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) also added its voice in this ground breaking piece of legislation. In its current form we believe the Bill will fall short in addressing our country’s inequitable language use.

Our first point of departure was that the bill is unlikely to give effect to the government’s constitutional obligation. Government is expected to “take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of (indigenous languages)” and to ensure all 11 official languages “enjoy parity of esteem and… (are) treated equitably”.

 

Most importantly, the bill lacks the necessary mechanism to deal with language rights violators and fails to offer remedies to the victims of such violations.

 

Our submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity.

 

Please click here to view our submission


South African Languages Bill – Make Your Voice Heard

 

In 2009 an attorney from Brits, one Cornelius Lourens, in an endeavour to force the promulgation of the South African Languages Bill of 2003, made an application to court that government was in violation of the Constitution (Lourens vs The President of the Republic of South Africa and others, 2009). Lourens’s application was successful and government was given two years to promulgate a Languages Act. This would be the first national languages act in South Africa.

 

In response the Department of Arts and Culture has drafted the attached South African Languages Bill which is now before the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture. According to the attached Notice from Parliament, public submissions are now being called for.

 

PanSALB has prepared its submission on the Bill, which is attached here. The submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity. Canada’s renowned Bill 101 of the Charter of the French Language is regarded as a model national language act and is indeed considered to be a successful form of intervention. The same view prevails, to a varying extent, with regard to the role of national language acts in other countries and regions, including Catalonia, Scotland, Wales, Serbia and the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states.

 

However, the SA Languages Bill in its current form falls short of addressing our country’s inequitable language use. We therefore call on all groups and individuals interested in language to make their voice heard on this Bill by making a submission to the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

All submissions must be addressed to Mr Johnny van der Westhuizen (tel: 021 403 3714, cell: 083 709 8389), Committee Secretary, Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

Submissions must be received no later than 12:00 on Monday, 12 December 2011 and can be made in the following ways:

Public hearings on the Bill will be held in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 and Wednesday, 18 January 2012.

 

Should you wish to make further suggestions for PanSALB’s submission, please contact Advocate Linda Ramadi-Adebola on 012 341 9638 or email her on: lindak@pansalb.org.za on or before 7 December 2011.


 
  Dr Elias Malete
  PanSALB Chairperson Resigns
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) would like to announce that Dr Elias Malete tendered his resignation with effect Monday, 12 September 2011.

“After agonising soul searching, I have decided to step down as Chairperson of the Board. What has transpired during the last few weeks is that the relationship between the Board and the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture which is a monitoring structure of Parliament is not conducive to my continuing my role as the Chairperson,” said Dr Malete.

 

Dr Malete was appointed on 23 July 2010 as the Board Chairperson, and Ms Masindi Sadiki as Deputy, replacing Professor Sihawu Ngubane and Professor Zodwa Motsa respectively. On 16 August 2011 he was re-elected as the Chairperson with Ms Sadiki as his Deputy. The change was necessitated by the requirement of Sec 6 (2) of the PanSALB Act that “an election be held annually”.

Dr Malete has served and devoted his time in the name of language development, and in particular African languages, through PanSALB structures until he reached a stage where he was afforded the opportunity to lead PanSALB. Dr Malete tried everything at his disposal to lead the organisation under very difficult circumstances it had inherited over the years. These include the following:

 

Administrative

Since its establishment in 1997, the Board has never had a Corporate Governance Framework and charter to assist Board committees exercising their responsibilities, improve and strengthen the current corporate governance practices, policies, procedures, protocols and frameworks, until recently.

 

Legislation

It is has been the Board’s view that the PanSALB Act of 1995 as amended in 1999 has serious flaws and impacts negatively on its functioning. For instance, the Act requires that “an election be held annually”. It also makes Board members non-executive directors who are not fulltime in the organisation. Moreover, it compromises Section 181 of the Constitution as it confers powers on the Minister of Arts and Culture, and not Parliament, to appoint the Board. It also grants the Minister powers to terminate the membership of any person appointed in terms of this Act.

The Report of the ad hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions draws attention to the latter. These are some of the issues that PanSALB has raised with Parliament but to no avail.

Funding

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB would receive for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future.

 

For the record, PanSALB operates 9 Provincial Offices, 13 National Language Bodies (NLBs), 9 Provincial Language Committees (PLCs) and 11 National Lexicography Units (NLUs). Through these structures PanSALB has created 734 part-time and fulltime jobs.

 

At issue is that the institution is not afforded an adequate opportunity to motivate its budgetary requirements before Parliament or its relevant committees.

“I wish to thank my fellow Board members for providing the necessary political and strategic guidance. Also, my appreciation goes to the Accounting Officer and his staff for their commitment to ensuring that PanSALB delivers on its constitutional mandate,” Dr Malete said.

As a result of the resignation of Dr Malete the Board urgently convened an extraordinary session where Professor Sihawu Ngubane was elected as its new Chairperson and Ms Masindi Sadiki was retained as Deputy.

 

The Board also considered the resignation of the Acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu. After deliberating on the matter the Board requested the Acting CEO to reconsider his resignation and continue to act in this capacity.

 

“I am pleased to announce that Mr Swepu will continue acting as the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, until the position is filled and has the full support of the Board,” announced Professor Ngubane

 

End

 

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638


 
  Mr Chris Swepu - Acting Chief Executive Officer
  PanSALB celebrates a third successive unqualified audit opinion from AGSA
 

The Pan South African Language Board today welcomed its third successive unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General South Africa. Speaking from Pretoria, the Acting CEO of PanSALB, Mr Chris Swepu, thanked the Board for its support and his staff for their patience during trying times. Swepu added “the cooperation between management and the Board has made this turnaround possible. Our staff members have endured throughout our tough approach to compliance. For this we wish to thank them as well.”

 

The three successive clean audits signal a huge turnaround from the disclaimer of audit opinion the organisation received three years ago. PanSALB is hoping that its performance, as alluded to by the AGSA report, will lead to better funding in the new financial year. “Our country needs a financial model that recognises good corporate governance. The President of the republic has on numerous occasion called on public institutions to clean up their act and work towards clean audit reports; we have done just that and are determined to continue to excel and execute our mandate to the best of our ability,” Swepu added.

 

However, like many critical state organs, PanSALB continues to have a serious challenge with underfunding and this prompted a request in writing to President Jacob Zuma for urgent intervention. The request for extra funding was in line with the Acting CEO’s mission to “build a model institution that would be a point of reference whenever South Africans think of good governance”.

 

Swepu thanked the Chairperson of the Board, Dr Elias Malete, for his calm and conciliatory approach to the business of the organisation. “Without a good working relationship between Chairpersons and CEOs of institutions not much is achievable,” said Swepu.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638 


 
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Legal costs to get rid of CEO justified
   
 

Compliance with South African labour laws compelled the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) to spend R5.4 million on legal fees to resolve its legal disputes with the former CEO, Mrs Ntombenhle Nkosi, said Dr Elias Malete, the Chairperson of PanSALB, in his response to concerns raised by the Democratic Alliance over the weekend.

 

Firstly, it is important to note that Mrs Nkosi was suspended pending the findings of an independent forensic investigation conducted by Nkonki Advisory Services (Nkonki). The forensic report recommended that Mrs Nkosi be charged with financial misconduct and subsequently, fourteen (14) charges were brought against her.

 

These included the following among others: Failure to Appoint a Bid Adjudication Committee in Writing, Contravention of Treasury Regulations, Contravening Regulation 15(1) (a) of the PanSALB Regulations, Making Incorrect Statements, Financial Misconduct, and other charges.

Secondly, the enquiry which was delayed predominantly by court actions by Mrs Nkosi finally took place over several days from December 2010 to February 2011. The hearing was concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

Thirdly, as a measure to compel Mrs Nkosi not to continue delaying her hearing, PanSALB tried to stop Mrs Nkosi’s salary on 09 December 2009. She took the organisation to the Labour Court which unfortunately ruled against PanSALB and forced the organisation to reinstate her salary. The organisation also tried to negotiate a settlement to buy her out of the remainder of the contract, but Mrs Nkosi turned down the offer.

 

“Whilst we share the concern about legal costs and the payment of a salary to Mrs Nkosi for so long, we however wish to point out that our responsibility is to observe the laws of the country. Mrs Nkosi was on a precautionary suspension and as such was deemed innocent until proven guilty. The Labour Relations Act provides for such protection and as such PanSALB merely complied”. As much as we share the concerns of the DA, unfortunately it was an issue that we as the Board had little control over, as the matter went in and out of the courts. We had a duty to defend our actions and the integrity of our institution in the management of public funds.” said Dr Malete.

 

Mrs Nkosi was suspended on 20 February 2009 as a result of allegations of financial mismanagement against her and her case was only concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

On 08 June 2011 Mrs Nkosi was found guilty and on 24 June 2011 the Chairperson of the enquiry recommended that she be dismissed. The Board endorsed the recommendation thus dismissed Mrs Nkosi since her charges were of serious nature and involved mismanagement of taxpayers money.

 

The Board is pleased that the matter was concluded in this manner internally and wishes to point out that Mrs Nkosi continues to enjoy the right to appeal and to pursue the matter further as provided for in the laws of the country.

 

“We will continue to build a better organisation to deliver multilingualism to our people and to ensure that the provisions of language parity of esteem as enshrined in our constitution are observed. We welcome criticism from every sector of the society as we undertake this mammoth task but such criticism must be constructive and within appropriate context”, Malete added.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel: 012 341 9638


 
     
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Setting the record straight on alleged corruption
   
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) wishes to correct some misinformation being presented regarding allegations of corruption taking place within the organisation.

“For the record I want to emphasise that PanSALB is one of the few organisations that have managed to get an unqualified audit from the South African Auditor-General for the past two years. It’s very saddening to now hear accusations that the organisation is corrupt,” said Dr Elias Malete, Chairperson of the Board.

The misinformation came about after the organisation was asked to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on Wednesday, 15 June 2011, to make a presentation on “governance and operational issues”.

Unfortunately, PanSALB did not get a chance to make its presentation because the committee was of the view that its presentation was not addressing issues like allegations about suspected corruption which were made by a dismissed employee.

Dr Malete explains, “The allegations are not new and the Board had previously briefed the committee on the matter. The Board had hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate the allegations, including the claim that the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Swepu, had faked his qualifications. All these allegations were false, spread by a former employee who was bent on destroying the reputation of the Board.

“We presented the findings of the audit to the Portfolio Committee while Dr Tshenuwani Farisani was still the Chairperson. It took us by surprise to learn that the committee is still interested in pursuing this matter further. Had we been asked to include this matter in our presentation we would have done so but unfortunately the request from the committee did not specifically mentioned it,” added Dr Malete.

He further stated that the Board stood firmly behind the leadership of its acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu and his team. “They have been transparent with the Board on all matters and have taken us to greater heights,” he said.

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the South African Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB received for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future. The Board did alert Parliament to this situation as early as 2009.

It is disheartening to report that the organisation is now on its knees financially and this is having undesirable results – the suspension of all projects and programmes for the current financial year and high staff turnover. According to Dr Malete, this is the real issue that is affecting the performance of the organisation and not corruption as reported. He also confirmed that the Board has written to President Zuma requesting urgent intervention.

“We wish that Parliament would start listening to us and take these issues we are tabling before them seriously. It is saddening to say the least that such an opportunity is given to a trumped-up story made by a discredited source,” concluded Dr Malete.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi
Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing
Tel 012 341 9638

 
PanSALB celebrates International Mother Language Day
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), on Thursday 21 February 2013, celebrated International Mother Language Day at a commemorative event held in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. The day, established by UNESCO in 1999, seeks to promote the dissemination of mother tongues and a fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world.

PanSALB views this day as significant on the international calendar for promotion and development of language and cultures hence, all provincial structures will be celebrating the day throughout the month of February to entrench pride and awareness for home languages.

Ms TB Sunduza, Chairperson of The Portfolio Committee for Arts and Culture, delivered the keynote address amongst other speakers such as, key stakeholder representatives from the National Heritage Council, the SABC, the National House of Traditional Leaders and the African Renaissance.

“As the Department of Arts and Culture, the development and promotion of the official languages and enhancement of the linguistic diversity of the country, is one of our core values. Our language plays an essential role in social development”, said Sunduza.

As a milestone in its celebrations, PanSALB also launched a scholarship in honor of the linguist icon, activist and scholar, Professor Neville Alexander. The scholarship aims to promote and encourage academic excellence and research in indigenous languages for scholars nationwide. It further seeks to support matriculants who wish to purse linguistic studies at tertiary level.

Professor Alexander was at the forefront of multilingualism and is one of the greatest advocates of linguistic diversity and mother tongue education in South Africa and we saw it fitting to honour him on this International Mother Language Day said Mxolisi Zwane, PanSALB Chairperson.

Established in 1995 as a constitutional entity, PanSALB promotes and creates conditions for the development and use of all official languages in SA including, the Khoi, San and Nama as well as the SA sign language. Its role includes amongst others the promotion, preservation as well as the monitoring of language use by all state organs

We must encourage the use and development of our mother tongue. Our languages must be preserved for generations to come and as such, its important that our children are nurtured and raised to be proud and eloquent in their mother languages. concluded Zwane.

All information pertaining to the scholarship and application process will be availed on our website from March 2013.  Website: www.pansalb.org.za.

Issued for and on behalf of PanSALB by Zanenza Communications.

For interview opportunities with Mxolisi Zwane, PanSALB Chairperson contact:

Thango Gombiza
Tel: 011 886 3775
Cell: 079 5484 264
E-mail:  thango@zanenza.co.za

 
 
 
 
     
 
  Mr Mxolisi Zwane- Caretaker CEO
  A tribute to Professor Neville Alexander
 

By Mxolisi Zwane

There is a saying in my language that declares: “Kuyohamba amaqhawe kusale izibongo” which can loosely be translated into English to mean that when our heroes and heroines have departed, only their names and outstanding contributions will remain.

These words reverberated when I received the news of the passing away of this revolutionary and struggle hero Professor Neville Alexander. Professor Alexander passed away on 27 August 2012 at the age of 75 due to illness.

Where does one begin to describe this man who has been in the forefront ofmultilingualism in the post-apartheid South Africa and one of the major advocates of linguistic diversity and mother tongue education?

As recently as April when the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande was slammed for suggesting that competency in an African or indigenous language would be a prerequisite for graduating from higher education institutions, it was Professor Alexander who came to his defence.

 

He told one publication (Daily Maverick) that there is merit to Nzimande’s plan to compel students to learn an African language, but Alexander believed that African languages must be introduced to students long before they enter universities. And eventually it will not be the work of government alone to grant African languages the much-needed cultural capital. “It will take a social movement,”

 

Language and Professor Alexander are synonymous in South Africa. He set the country’s foundation on language planning when in 1994 was asked by then Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Dr. Ben Ngubane  to lead the Language Task Group  (LangTaG) which conducted research towards the formulation of the National Language Plan for South Africa.The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) owes its existence to people like him-he was key among the people who contributed to the founding and establishment of PanSALB. He led the Board from 1996 - 1998. During his lifespan as a language activist he effectively contributed to PanSALB’s Research, Status Language Planning and Language in Education, among others.

 

In 1986 Professor Alexander helped co-ordinate the National Languages Project in South Africa. How could we forget his 1989 research that he conducted with the University of Cape Town’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy wherein it was concluded that South Africa would remain a multilingual society in spite of the emergence of English as a national means of communication in a post-apartheid society.

 

Professor Alexander was instrumental in the drafting of the South African Languages Bill of 2003 which was a better point of departure as it clearly promoted multilingualism. In 2011 when the Bill was reintroduced in Parliament as the Use of Official Languages Bill, Professor Alexander, although retired, never restrained from actively participating in issues of multilingualism. Throughout the public hearings and deliberations that took place in Parliament earlier this year, he was always present.

 

Although the Bill was tabled before Parliament on 07 August by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, unfortunately Professor Alexander would not see its implementation.

 

The heartfelt loss will not only be borne by his family but all those who knew and worked with him in promoting multilingualism in South Africa. Professor Alexander was generally a national asset and an internationally renowned language activist.  We will always benefit from his valuable linguistic body of knowledge. He has played his role and now is the time for us to carry the torch. As the saying goes: Kuyohamba amaqhawe

kusale izibongo.


PanSALB calls for a South African Languages Act with punitive measures

On 17-18 January 2012, The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture held public hearings on the government’s proposed SA Languages Bill which have revealed that most participants agreed that the bill as it stood was inadequate.

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) also added its voice in this ground breaking piece of legislation. In its current form we believe the Bill will fall short in addressing our country’s inequitable language use.

Our first point of departure was that the bill is unlikely to give effect to the government’s constitutional obligation. Government is expected to “take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of (indigenous languages)” and to ensure all 11 official languages “enjoy parity of esteem and… (are) treated equitably”.

 

Most importantly, the bill lacks the necessary mechanism to deal with language rights violators and fails to offer remedies to the victims of such violations.

 

Our submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity.

 

Please click here to view our submission


South African Languages Bill – Make Your Voice Heard

 

In 2009 an attorney from Brits, one Cornelius Lourens, in an endeavour to force the promulgation of the South African Languages Bill of 2003, made an application to court that government was in violation of the Constitution (Lourens vs The President of the Republic of South Africa and others, 2009). Lourens’s application was successful and government was given two years to promulgate a Languages Act. This would be the first national languages act in South Africa.

 

In response the Department of Arts and Culture has drafted the attached South African Languages Bill which is now before the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture. According to the attached Notice from Parliament, public submissions are now being called for.

 

PanSALB has prepared its submission on the Bill, which is attached here. The submission is based on best international practices in many countries with an equitable language dispensation. A national language act is regarded as one of the core legislative mechanisms to regulate the use of the official languages. Such a language act often comprises the pre-eminent legal mechanism aimed at bringing about a form of official language equity. Canada’s renowned Bill 101 of the Charter of the French Language is regarded as a model national language act and is indeed considered to be a successful form of intervention. The same view prevails, to a varying extent, with regard to the role of national language acts in other countries and regions, including Catalonia, Scotland, Wales, Serbia and the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states.

 

However, the SA Languages Bill in its current form falls short of addressing our country’s inequitable language use. We therefore call on all groups and individuals interested in language to make their voice heard on this Bill by making a submission to the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

All submissions must be addressed to Mr Johnny van der Westhuizen (tel: 021 403 3714, cell: 083 709 8389), Committee Secretary, Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.

 

Submissions must be received no later than 12:00 on Monday, 12 December 2011 and can be made in the following ways:

Public hearings on the Bill will be held in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 and Wednesday, 18 January 2012.

 

Should you wish to make further suggestions for PanSALB’s submission, please contact Advocate Linda Ramadi-Adebola on 012 341 9638 or email her on: lindak@pansalb.org.za on or before

7 December 2011.


 
  Dr Elias Malete
  PanSALB Chairperson Resigns
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) would like to announce that Dr Elias Malete tendered his resignation with effect Monday, 12 September 2011.

“After agonising soul searching, I have decided to step down as Chairperson of the Board. What has transpired during the last few weeks is that the relationship between the Board and the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture which is a monitoring structure of Parliament is not conducive to my continuing my role as the Chairperson,” said Dr Malete.

 

Dr Malete was appointed on 23 July 2010 as the Board Chairperson, and Ms Masindi Sadiki as Deputy, replacing Professor Sihawu Ngubane and Professor Zodwa Motsa respectively. On 16 August 2011 he was re-elected as the Chairperson with Ms Sadiki as his Deputy. The change was necessitated by the requirement of Sec 6 (2) of the PanSALB Act that “an election be held annually”.

Dr Malete has served and devoted his time in the name of language development, and in particular African languages, through PanSALB structures until he reached a stage where he was afforded the opportunity to lead PanSALB. Dr Malete tried everything at his disposal to lead the organisation under very difficult circumstances it had inherited over the years. These include the following:

 

Administrative

Since its establishment in 1997, the Board has never had a Corporate Governance Framework and charter to assist Board committees exercising their responsibilities, improve and strengthen the current corporate governance practices, policies, procedures, protocols and frameworks, until recently.

 

Legislation

It is has been the Board’s view that the PanSALB Act of 1995 as amended in 1999 has serious flaws and impacts negatively on its functioning. For instance, the Act requires that “an election be held annually”. It also makes Board members non-executive directors who are not fulltime in the organisation. Moreover, it compromises Section 181 of the Constitution as it confers powers on the Minister of Arts and Culture, and not Parliament, to appoint the Board. It also grants the Minister powers to terminate the membership of any person appointed in terms of this Act.

The Report of the ad hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions draws attention to the latter. These are some of the issues that PanSALB has raised with Parliament but to no avail.

Funding

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB would receive for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future.

 

For the record, PanSALB operates 9 Provincial Offices, 13 National Language Bodies (NLBs), 9 Provincial Language Committees (PLCs) and 11 National Lexicography Units (NLUs). Through these structures PanSALB has created 734 part-time and fulltime jobs.

 

At issue is that the institution is not afforded an adequate opportunity to motivate its budgetary requirements before Parliament or its relevant committees.

“I wish to thank my fellow Board members for providing the necessary political and strategic guidance. Also, my appreciation goes to the Accounting Officer and his staff for their commitment to ensuring that PanSALB delivers on its constitutional mandate,” Dr Malete said.

As a result of the resignation of Dr Malete the Board urgently convened an extraordinary session where Professor Sihawu Ngubane was elected as its new Chairperson and Ms Masindi Sadiki was retained as Deputy.

 

The Board also considered the resignation of the Acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu. After deliberating on the matter the Board requested the Acting CEO to reconsider his resignation and continue to act in this capacity.

 

“I am pleased to announce that Mr Swepu will continue acting as the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, until the position is filled and has the full support of the Board,” announced Professor Ngubane

 

End

 

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638


 
  Mr Chris Swepu - Acting Chief Executive Officer
  PanSALB celebrates a third successive unqualified audit opinion from AGSA
 

The Pan South African Language Board today welcomed its third successive unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General South Africa. Speaking from Pretoria, the Acting CEO of PanSALB, Mr Chris Swepu, thanked the Board for its support and his staff for their patience during trying times. Swepu added “the cooperation between management and the Board has made this turnaround possible. Our staff members have endured throughout our tough approach to compliance. For this we wish to thank them as well.”

 

The three successive clean audits signal a huge turnaround from the disclaimer of audit opinion the organisation received three years ago. PanSALB is hoping that its performance, as alluded to by the AGSA report, will lead to better funding in the new financial year. “Our country needs a financial model that recognises good corporate governance. The President of the republic has on numerous occasion called on public institutions to clean up their act and work towards clean audit reports; we have done just that and are determined to continue to excel and execute our mandate to the best of our ability,” Swepu added.

 

However, like many critical state organs, PanSALB continues to have a serious challenge with underfunding and this prompted a request in writing to President Jacob Zuma for urgent intervention. The request for extra funding was in line with the Acting CEO’s mission to “build a model institution that would be a point of reference whenever South Africans think of good governance”.

 

Swepu thanked the Chairperson of the Board, Dr Elias Malete, for his calm and conciliatory approach to the business of the organisation. “Without a good working relationship between Chairpersons and CEOs of institutions not much is achievable,” said Swepu.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel 012 341 9638 


 
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Legal costs to get rid of CEO justified
   
 

Compliance with South African labour laws compelled the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) to spend R5.4 million on legal fees to resolve its legal disputes with the former CEO, Mrs Ntombenhle Nkosi, said Dr Elias Malete, the Chairperson of PanSALB, in his response to concerns raised by the Democratic Alliance over the weekend.

 

Firstly, it is important to note that Mrs Nkosi was suspended pending the findings of an independent forensic investigation conducted by Nkonki Advisory Services (Nkonki). The forensic report recommended that Mrs Nkosi be charged with financial misconduct and subsequently, fourteen (14) charges were brought against her.

 

These included the following among others: Failure to Appoint a Bid Adjudication Committee in Writing, Contravention of Treasury Regulations, Contravening Regulation 15(1) (a) of the PanSALB Regulations, Making Incorrect Statements, Financial Misconduct, and other charges.

Secondly, the enquiry which was delayed predominantly by court actions by Mrs Nkosi finally took place over several days from December 2010 to February 2011. The hearing was concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

Thirdly, as a measure to compel Mrs Nkosi not to continue delaying her hearing, PanSALB tried to stop Mrs Nkosi’s salary on 09 December 2009. She took the organisation to the Labour Court which unfortunately ruled against PanSALB and forced the organisation to reinstate her salary. The organisation also tried to negotiate a settlement to buy her out of the remainder of the contract, but Mrs Nkosi turned down the offer.

 

“Whilst we share the concern about legal costs and the payment of a salary to Mrs Nkosi for so long, we however wish to point out that our responsibility is to observe the laws of the country. Mrs Nkosi was on a precautionary suspension and as such was deemed innocent until proven guilty. The Labour Relations Act provides for such protection and as such PanSALB merely complied”. As much as we share the concerns of the DA, unfortunately it was an issue that we as the Board had little control over, as the matter went in and out of the courts. We had a duty to defend our actions and the integrity of our institution in the management of public funds.” said Dr Malete.

 

Mrs Nkosi was suspended on 20 February 2009 as a result of allegations of financial mismanagement against her and her case was only concluded on 17 February 2011.

 

On 08 June 2011 Mrs Nkosi was found guilty and on 24 June 2011 the Chairperson of the enquiry recommended that she be dismissed. The Board endorsed the recommendation thus dismissed Mrs Nkosi since her charges were of serious nature and involved mismanagement of taxpayers money.

 

The Board is pleased that the matter was concluded in this manner internally and wishes to point out that Mrs Nkosi continues to enjoy the right to appeal and to pursue the matter further as provided for in the laws of the country.

 

“We will continue to build a better organisation to deliver multilingualism to our people and to ensure that the provisions of language parity of esteem as enshrined in our constitution are observed. We welcome criticism from every sector of the society as we undertake this mammoth task but such criticism must be constructive and within appropriate context”, Malete added.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi

Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing

Tel: 012 341 9638


 
     
 
  Dr Elias Malete Chairperson
  Setting the record straight on alleged corruption
   
 

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) wishes to correct some misinformation being presented regarding allegations of corruption taking place within the organisation.

“For the record I want to emphasise that PanSALB is one of the few organisations that have managed to get an unqualified audit from the South African Auditor-General for the past two years. It’s very saddening to now hear accusations that the organisation is corrupt,” said Dr Elias Malete, Chairperson of the Board.

The misinformation came about after the organisation was asked to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture on Wednesday, 15 June 2011, to make a presentation on “governance and operational issues”.

Unfortunately, PanSALB did not get a chance to make its presentation because the committee was of the view that its presentation was not addressing issues like allegations about suspected corruption which were made by a dismissed employee.

Dr Malete explains, “The allegations are not new and the Board had previously briefed the committee on the matter. The Board had hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate the allegations, including the claim that the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Swepu, had faked his qualifications. All these allegations were false, spread by a former employee who was bent on destroying the reputation of the Board.

“We presented the findings of the audit to the Portfolio Committee while Dr Tshenuwani Farisani was still the Chairperson. It took us by surprise to learn that the committee is still interested in pursuing this matter further. Had we been asked to include this matter in our presentation we would have done so but unfortunately the request from the committee did not specifically mentioned it,” added Dr Malete.

He further stated that the Board stood firmly behind the leadership of its acting CEO, Mr Chris Swepu and his team. “They have been transparent with the Board on all matters and have taken us to greater heights,” he said.

In its management report for the year ending 31 March 2010 the South African Auditor-General raised an opinion that the increase in the grant that PanSALB received for the next three years is not in line with inflation rates and general increases of goods and service. Therefore, PanSALB might have a going concern problem in the near future. The Board did alert Parliament to this situation as early as 2009.

It is disheartening to report that the organisation is now on its knees financially and this is having undesirable results – the suspension of all projects and programmes for the current financial year and high staff turnover. According to Dr Malete, this is the real issue that is affecting the performance of the organisation and not corruption as reported. He also confirmed that the Board has written to President Zuma requesting urgent intervention.

“We wish that Parliament would start listening to us and take these issues we are tabling before them seriously. It is saddening to say the least that such an opportunity is given to a trumped-up story made by a discredited source,” concluded Dr Malete.

End

Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi
Senior Manager: Communication and Marketing
Tel 012 341 9638

 
 
 
 

Multilingualism Awards – Nominations Invited

Johannesburg, 11 January 2011 – The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) invites nominations for the 2010/11 PanSALB Multilingual Awards. These prestigious awards recognise individuals and organisations that actively promote and preserve South Africa’s 11 official languages as well as Khoi, San, Nama and sign language.
Awards will be made in eight categories:

  1. Music: Open to individuals and groups, for multilingualism in song or an album
  2. Media (Thetha Masombuka Award): Open to journalists and programmes in the print or broadcast media, which help to promote and preserve mother tongue while demonstrating respect for any of the other official languages or for Khoi, San, Nama or sign language
  3. Language and literature: Open to organisations and individuals, for example writers, who help to promote and preserve the official languages as well as Khoi, San, Nama and sign language
  4. Technology and business category: Open to organisations and individuals, for harnessing technology to promote multilingualism in business or consumer affairs
  5. Public sector category: Open to national, provincial and local departments, district municipalities and constitutional bodies, for the best service delivery campaign, project or programme that promotes multilingualism
  6. Education category: Open to institutions of learning, for multilingualism in their language policy, study guides and the courses they offer
  7. Interpretation and translation category: Open to organisations and individuals, for projects that promote multilingualism
  8. Chairperson’s Lifetime Achievement Award: To the individual or institution adjudged by the judges to have made the greatest contribution to multilingualism

“PANSALB is calling on all agencies, organisations and individuals working in South African indigenous languages to enter the 2010/11 Multilingualism Awards. Members of the public are also encouraged to nominate those who promote our South African languages in these various categories,” says PanSALB Acting CEO, Chris Swepu.

PanSALB was established to promote the equal use of the 11 official South African languages, and to help develop all our indigenous languages. It actively promotes multilingualism as a national resource and vehicle for national development. PanSALB also encourages the best use of the country's linguistic resources, so that South Africans can be free from all forms of linguistic discrimination, domination and division and can make the linguistic choices that suit them best.

The 2011 PanSALB Awards Ceremony promises colourful festivities to celebrate the vibrancy of South Africa’s cultural landscape. The event will also showcase Khoi, San, Nama and sign language, which are recognised by the Constitution although not official South African languages.

The PanSALB Multilingualism Awards are held each year to recognise and promote the diverse languages used in South Africa.

Entry forms are available on the PanSALB Multilingualism Awards website http://www.pansalb.org.za. Entries close on 1 March 2011 and can be emailed to: communication@pansalb.org.za or brite4@britespark.co.za.

Alternatively, forms can be posted to: PanSALB, Private Bag X08, Arcadia 0007, or delivered to: PanSALB Head Office, 523 Church Street, 5th floor Provisus Building, Arcadia 0083, Pretoria.
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Released by:Nthabiseng Selaledi or Tharusha Pillay
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For: Sibusiso Nkosi
Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB)
012 341 9638


PanSALB to meet with Gauteng MEC for Education to discuss alleged language rights violation at Roosevelt High School

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will on Thursday meet with the Gauteng MEC for education, Ms Barbara Creecy, in an endeavour to resolve an alleged language rights violation case at Roosevelt High School in Johannesburg.

This follows media reports that a Grade 11 learner, Luthando Nxasana, was allegedly expelled from class, prevented from writing two mid-year exams or going to the toilet, and forced to spend three school days standing in a foyer for speaking isiXhosa to her classmate on the school premises.

PanSALB welcomes and applauds the initiative by the MEC for requesting that the organisation meet with her to address this matter, as this kind of problem has become common in former model C schools.

PanSALB is concerned that a pattern is emerging in former model C schools where the languages of African majorities are marginalised and underdeveloped in comparison to Afrikaans and particularly English. Learners are being punished if they are found speaking their home languages.
We cannot continue with a situation in which African children are made to leave their African languages at the gates of learning. This shows that the present framework of language policy in our schools presents major challenges. As quickly as possible, we need to expunge language domination from our educational institutions.
“Even if the language of education in school is English, you can’t stop people from speaking their mother tongue to each other,” said the acting CEO of PanSALB, Chris Swepu. He added that school language policies may not contravene the provisions of the constitution. Therefore learners may not be discriminated against on the basis of their languages at school.
The ideals regarding language enshrined in our constitution have to find expression in society. Our schools should create an environment in which children learn how to celebrate and respect our cultural diversity.
PanSALB hopes this meeting with the MEC will be a catalyst for a comprehensive approach to address gaps in the South African Schools Act that are currently being exploited to violate our constitution.    

The Board has received a formal complaint regarding this matter and a further investigation will be conducted to address the problem.

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Sibusiso Nkosi
Communication and Marketing Manager
Tel       012 341 9638
Email: sibusiso@pansalb.org.za


PanSALB Senior Legal Advisor Suspended

Following media reports about the above matter, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), Chris Swepu would like to take this opportunity and confirm that he has suspended the organisation’s Senior Legal Advisor, Advocate Zixolisile Feni, pending an investigation into possible charges of misconduct.

Advocate Feni was served with his letter of suspension on Thursday last week in terms of regulation 17(a) of the PanSALB Regulations which grant the accounting officer authority to suspend an employee until an investigation or disciplinary hearing with regards to a possible charge has been completed.

“Although it was not an easy decision to take, it had to be done to bring stability and discipline within the organisation as there is no one who is above the law at PanSALB including its accounting officer. This decision has been communicated to the Board,” said Swepu.

The suspension is without any loss of remuneration or benefits to the employee, except that he was requested to hand over all assets of the Board that were in his possession and not to come to the office without prior authorisation.

PanSALB would like to state that the suspension of Advocate Feni is no way related to the allegations of mismanagement that he has sent to Parliament. We have already written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture, Dr Tshenuwani Farisani, indicating our availability to meet with him.

We would like to appeal to all concerned to give the disciplinary process a chance to deal with this matter without any interference.

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Released on behalf of PanSALB by: Sibusiso Nkosi
Manager: Communication and Marketing
Te: 012 341 9638
  Email: sibusiso@pansalb.org.za
  Date:            17 May 2010

PanSALB welcomes court ruling on Language Act

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) embraces the ruling made yesterday by Judge Ben du Plessis to force government to enact a language act within two years.

“Whilst we appreciate the ruling, as PanSALB we find it regrettable that it took a court case of this nature to sensitise government about the need to honour the Constitution and cater for the linguistic needs of all our communities,” said its Acting Chief Executive Officer Chris Swepu.

Although PanSALB was cited as a respondent in the case and never opposed the application brought about by Cornelus Lourens, who was seeking an order compelling government to finalise and promulgate national legislation to regulate and monitor the use of all 11 official languages.

“We have been labelled as a toothless watch dog because our founding act does not bestow enough monitoring mechanisms to deal with transgressors. We have been calling for the enactment of this legislation, as we feel it will give us more authority to perform our monitoring role,” Swepu explained.

It is the belief of PanSALB that government had enough time to finalise and promulgate national legislation to regulate and monitor the use of all 11 official languages, so that the majority of illiterate citizens can be able to access information using their mother tongue.

“It is ironic that more than a decade after the dawn of South Africa's democracy the majority of citizens are still battling to access information using their mother tongue”, Swepu added.

PanSALB will continue to engage parliament and government to ensure that there are no necessary delays in implementing this judgement and it respect the ruling by the court which seeks to advance its mandate.
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Released by: Sibusiso Nkosi - Communication and Marketing Manager
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Cell     082 855 4436
Date:   17 March 2010


Finalists In PanSALB Multilingualism Awards Announced 

The finalists in the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) annual multilingualism awards for 2010 have been announced.

The awards recognise individuals and organisations that promote and preserve  multilingualism and are made in eight categories - music, media, language and literature, technology and business, public sector, education, interpretation and translation and the chairperson’s special award for a lifetime achievement.

In the category for music the finalists are KB Motsilanyane, Thembi Seete and Theo Kgosinkwe.  

In the language, written and oral literature category the finalists in Afrikaans are authors André Brink, Antjie Krog and Deon Meyer. 

In Setswana the finalists are the Reverend Dietrich Mascher and Thapelo Moraka.

In isiXhosa the finalists are Professors Mncedisi Jordan and Peter Mtuze and Ncebakisi Mogale.

In Tshivenda the finalists are Domina Napoleon Munzhelele, Konanani Muebi and NAPS Publishers.  

The finalists for Sesotho are Kabelo Duncan Kgatea, Paul Katiso Nkhoesa and Thapelo Moraka.

In South African sign language the finalists are Francois Deysel and Philemon Akash.

In Khoi, Nama and San languages the finalists are Gerhardus Damarah and the Khwedam Language Committee. 

In the media category the finalists in the television programme section are the Dtv programme on SABC3 and 7de Laan on SABC2.  In the journalism section the finalists are Aron Mbonani, radio sports commentator on Ikwekwezi FM, Goitsemanga Seleka, presenter on Motsweding FM,  NNdededzeni Ramushwana and Themba Makeleni of SABC TV News.   

The finalists for companies in the technology and business category that promote multilingualism are Cell Life and Mohapi Financial Services and the finalists for technological innovation are Professor Danie Prinsloo of the University of Pretoria’s Department of African Languages, Professor de Schryver of the University of  Pretoria, Dr Marietta Alberts of PanSALB’s terminology section and Mediasoft Technologies. 

In the public sector category the finalists are the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports in the Western Cape, the Free State Department of Health and the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture in the Eastern Cape.

In the education category the finalists for higher education institutions are the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and North-West’s Potchefstroom campus and for basic education institutions are the CEFUPS Academy and the Merara Institute at the CSIR. 

The finalists in the interpretation and translation category are the Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disability, the North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus and the QuadPara Association of South Africa.   

The winners will be announced in Johannesburg on Saturday, 20 February 2010 to coincide with International Mother Tongue Day on 21 February.

The chairman’s special lifetime award will also be made on Saturday evening.  It goes to the individual or institution that has, according to the judges, made a meaningful contribution to multilingualism.   

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Released by: Sibusiso Nkosi - Communication and Marketing Manager
Tel       012 341 9638
Date:   22 February 2010


About PanSALB

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is a statutory body established to create conditions to develop and promote the equal use and enjoyment of all the official South African languages. It actively promotes an awareness of multilingualism as a national resource.