Deputy Minister Nocawe Mafu to lead the International Mother Language Day Celebrations

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17 Feb 2021

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), in partnership with the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) and the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), will host the 2021 International Mother Language Day Celebrations under the theme, “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society”.

The celebration aims to highlight the importance of indigenous languages and to inspire all South Africans, including those with special needs, to promote, preserve and protect all South African languages.

United Nations through UNESCO declared February 21 as International Mother Language Day to observe the struggle of Bengali language movement in Bangladesh that saw dozens of students being killed for demanding recognition of their mother tongue in 1952. The International Mother Language Day is used to create awareness and appreciation for cultural and linguistic diversity around the world.  

During the celebration, Deputy Minister Mafu will be joined by a panel of language experts comprising of PanSALB Acting Executive Head: Languages [Ms Nikiwe Matebula], social cohesion advocate Dr Rajendran Govender, and language experts Prof. Russel Kaschula from the University of the Western Cape, Dr Johannes Rammala from the University of Limpopo, and Dr Joyce Sukumane (an independent consultant), will respond to questions.

Members of the media are invited as follows:

Date: Friday, 19 February 2021

Time: 12:00 - 14:00

Venue: Ditsong Museum, Pretoria (and virtually)

NB: - The event will also take the form of a webinar accessible to the public on DSAC and PanSALB’s Twitter and Facebook social media platforms.

The Public advised to follow the celebration on the following social channels:

Facebook:     @SportartcultureRSA


Twitter:          @SportArtsCultur


RSVPs: Mr. Mthuthuzeli Nqumba, at cell: 066 302 5397 or email, or Mr. Madimetja Moleba, at cell: 066 301 4675 or email:

Issued by the National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture