Pan South African Language Board

The Pan South African Language Board is established in terms of the Pan South African Language Board Act 59 of 1995 amended as PANSALB Amendment Act of 1999. The Board was established according to the
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa ( Act 106 of 1996) in order to:

(a) promote, and create conditions for the development and use of official languages v the khoe and San languages v sign language

(b) promote and ensure respect for all languages commonly used by communities in South Africa, including German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Portuguese, Tamil, Telegu, and Urdu and; Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit, and other languages used for religious purposes in South Africa

Role of PanSALB

PanSALB or the Pan South African Language Board was established by parliament (Act 59 of 1995, amended by Act 10 of 1999) to:

  • Develop the 11 official langauages, and
  • Promote multilingualism in South Africa
  • The constitution makes reference to the establishment of PanSALB in Section 6 when describing language rights.
    The PanSALB Act mandates that it initiate studies and research aimed at promoting and creating conditions for the development of all 11 official languages, plus the Khoe, San and South African sign language


PanSALB's Focus areas

Board approaches its language development strategies through the following focus areas:

  • Status Language Planning
  • Language in Education
  • Translation and Interpreting
  • Lexicography, Terminology and Place names
  • Development of Literature and Previously Marginalised Languages
  • Language Rights and Mediation
  • Research

PanSALB is mandated by law to investigate complaints about language rights violations from any individual, organisation or institution.

PanSALB conducts hearings at which complainants and respondents are present, and depending on its findings may recommend steps to be taken by the department or institution concerned.

Physical Address:
5th floor, Provisus Building
523 Church street,

Postal Address:
Private Bag X08

Tel: 012 341 9638/9551
Fax: 012 341 5938