oa Alternation - South Africa's National Language Policy revisited: the challenge of implementation

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Has South Africa's language policy achieved its goals as set out in Section 6 of the Constitution, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996)1 The answer to this question is a complex one. On the one hand, the policy has raised awareness around people's language and cultural rights. It has also encouraged the concept of what Bishop Tutu refers to as 'unity in diversity' and has created an awareness of respect for fellow individual South Africans. This has allowed for a renewed sense of pride and identity. On the other hand. ten years on from independence, the policy has yet to manifest in a practical way in the real world of economics, education and so on. Even from a political point of view, the movement has been towards the greater use of English. Heugh (1999:70) paints a bleak picture when she states that although multilingualism is entrenched in the constitution' ... the promise of a vibrant and linguistically diverse country looks disappointing'.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error