The South African public had until the 25th of February to respond to the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill, B1 – 2023, that intends to amend section 6 of the constitution in such a way that South African Sign Language (SASL) is added to the list of 11 existing official languages.
Prof Theadorus du Plessis of the University of the Free State says it is not necessary to make SASL an official language. He says this will merely grant symbolic recognition to the language, which will not necessarily grant more rights to persons with hearing impairment than they currently already enjoy. He fears that the obsession with the officialisation of SASL will end up being just another smokescreen for neglect of duty by the state.
Guest: Prof Theodorus du Plessis, Department of South African Sign Language and Deaf Studies, University of the Free State