The SABC and Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB) have signed an agreement that will see the two organisations working together to preserve African languages. This took place during the celebration to commemorate World International Mother Language Day in Polokwane, Limpopo.
The signing of the memorandum of agreement between PANSALB and SABC comes ahead of the SABC’s official launch of a 24-hour news channel, which will broadcast in all official African languages in the country.
The International Mother Language Day was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. It was formally recognised by the United Nations General Assembly with the adoption of UN resolution in 2002. This year’s commemoration takes place under the theme “multilingual education – a necessity to transform Education”.
International Mother Language Day being observed:
SABC Group Executive for News and Current Affairs, Moshoeshoe Monare, says the public broadcaster has a mandate and obligation to preserve indigenous languages.
“As a public broadcaster SABC has a mandate and obligation to promote, preserve, and protect indigenous languages, we do this through ensuring that all our programming are be it in news, sports and entertainment are in multilingual and it is within in this context that our collaboration with PANSALB is long overdue.”
The CEO of the language board, Lance Schultz, says their partnership with the SABC will create a platform for language development and foster multi-lingualism.
The Chairperson of Pansalb, Professor Makhubu Bardenhost, adds that people must communicate in their mother language when they are at home.
“It’s very important that people when we take news, whether it’s education or anything, or we communicate with anybody at home, whether they are cooking on their own home and so on, we use the person’s language. So today marks that significance and today we then witnessed the signing of the MOU between the Pan South African language board, and the SABC. In the promotion of our languages.”
The SABC says the agreement with the language board is positioning it as the only broadcaster committed to preserving African languages, and sets the SABC apart. This will also provide the SABC with an advantage over its competitors.