In line with its constitutional mandate, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will be hosting the 2018 LANGUAGE ACTIVISM MONTH with the theme: Re a bala, We Read, The month-long celebrations will be characterised by various events from 01-28 February 2018 and among others are the following:

  1. Publishing: reading and accessing books in mother tongue
  2. The Use of Official Languages Act, 2012
  3. PanSALB Public Lecture series: 
  4. Live TV debate on the importance of languages
  5. PanSALB Language Awards  

“This years’ campaign has brought on board Exclusive Books which for the first time will be retailing books written in all eleven South African Official Languages,” said Dr Rakwena Monareng, Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB.Details of the launch which will be attended by among others the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Mr Buti Manamela are as follows:

  • Date: 01 February 2018
  • Venue: Exclusive Books Rosebank Mall
  • Time: 18:00-18:30


International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is observed every year on 21 February to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.  IMLD was first proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999.

IMLD has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. This date represents the specific day in 1952 when students demonstrated for Bangla to be recognised as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan. Protesting students were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, and sacrificed their lives for their desire for the recognition of their mother tongue language.

For PanSALB a day is not enough to celebrate our diversity of languages, especially in a country that has 11 official languages. “It is for this reason that we saw it prudent that we celebrate the month of February as Language Month and I am happy to report that this initiative has received support from Parliament, said Dr Rakwena Monareng, Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB .


As a way of tackling the country’s unfolding reading crisis, the public can participate by buying, donating and reading a book in any of the previously marginalized languages and post it with the hashtags # SpeakiLiveit  #WeRead.