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March 18, 2003

Ngubane advocates equality for 11 languages

From: SABC News, South Africa - 18 Mar 2003

Ben Ngubane, the Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, at a launch of the National Language Policy Framework in Pretoria today, said the promotion and development of previously disadvantaged languages is imperative.

Ngubane said the main aim of the Framework was the equitable use of all 11 South African official languages and to facilitates equal access to government services and information. He said skills training programmes and language units had to be established to develop this.

However, the minister said Sign Language was not included in the framework. He defended this saying Sign Language is a developmental language, but that more work would be done to ensure its growth.

Allie Dill, the principal at Trans-Oranje School for the Deaf, said according to the Bill of Rights a deaf person should have equal access in his/her own language, and that was not happening.

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