Minister Nathi Mthethwa extends the deadline for the establishment of language units in government

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31 Oct 2014

The Minister of Arts & Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, has extended the deadline for all national departments, public entities and enterprises to establish language units that formulate language policies to enable the public to obtain information in the languages of their choice.

The new deadline is 2 May 2015.

The Minister said he was deeply concerned about the slow implementation of this law. He warned that this will be seen as government failing to implement its own regulations.

“It is with grave concern that I note the slow progress with regard to the implementation of the Use of Official Languages Act (No 12 of 2012) that stipulated that all national government departments, public entities and public enterprises must have language policies in place by 2 November 2014.

“Lack of adherence to the Act will result in audit queries as it will be regarded by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) as non-compliance to government legislation and regulations,” said Minister Mthethwa.

The Minister has granted the extension under the following conditions:

  •  A status report on progress with regard to the implementation of the Act is received by 30 January 2015.
  •  All language policies, drafted in such a way that they are appropriate to the context and operations of national departments, public enterprises and public entities are gazetted for public comment by 31 March 2015.
  • All language policies are adopted by 2 May 2015.

The language units staffed by language professionals and other practitioners responsible for translation across all languages should be in operation by 2 May 2015.

For further information and details, call Spokesperson for the Minister of Arts & Culture, Sandile Memela at 082 800 3750