Use of language in focus

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    BHONGO JACOB

    REPRESENTATIVES of the portfolio committee on sport, recreation, arts and culture responsible for the Eastern Cape use of official Languages Bill 2015 met the public at the Thobi Kula Indoor Sport Centre for the education campaign on the bill last week.

    Portfolio head Fezeka Bayeni said the event was planned to educate the public and mobilise people for greater citizen participation before the bill is passed, adding that the constitution provides for all official languages to enjoy parity of esteem and to be treated equitably. “This bill will allow people to know what is happening in our province in their home languages. “It will assist people to speak the language they are most comfortable in.

    NETWORKING: Thembinkosi Qendu speaks on the SA Language Bill
    NETWORKING: Thembinkosi Qendu speaks on the SA Language Bill

    “There is no language that is better than another, there must be no language perceived as being superior to another so we have decided to bring it to the people before we pass it in the legislature as part of our constitution.

    “As a government that serves millions of people, it is important that we do not make decisions and change things without consulting with people first. We want people to participate in this process and let them decide.”

    The public participation meetings started in 2012 and a number of areas have been visited in the province.

    She said the constitution allowed a provincial government to use any official language for the purposes of government, taking into account usage, practicality, expense, regional circumstances and the balance of the needs and preferences of the population as a whole.

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