PanSALB - news

By: Pansalb  11-11-2011
Keywords: Indigenous Languages

Multilingualism Awards – Nominations Invited

Johannesburg, 11 January 2011 – The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) invites nominations for the 2010/11 PanSALB Multilingual Awards. These prestigious awards recognise individuals and organisations that actively promote and preserve South Africa’s 11 official languages as well as Khoi, San, Nama and sign language.
Awards will be made in eight categories:

  1. Music : Open to individuals and groups, for multilingualism in song or an album
  2. Media (Thetha Masombuka Award): Open to journalists and programmes in the print or broadcast media, which help to promote and preserve mother tongue while demonstrating respect for any of the other official languages or for Khoi, San, Nama or sign language
  3. Language and literature: Open to organisations and individuals, for example writers, who help to promote and preserve the official languages as well as Khoi, San, Nama and sign language
  4. Technology and business category: Open to organisations and individuals, for harnessing technology to promote multilingualism in business or consumer affairs
  5. Public sector category: Open to national, provincial and local departments, district municipalities and constitutional bodies, for the best service delivery campaign, project or programme that promotes multilingualism
  6. Education category: Open to institutions of learning, for multilingualism in their language policy, study guides and the courses they offer
  7. Interpretation and translation category: Open to organisations and individuals, for projects that promote multilingualism
  8. Chairperson’s Lifetime Achievement Award: To the individual or institution adjudged by the judges to have made the greatest contribution to multilingualism

“PANSALB is calling on all agencies, organisations and individuals working in South African indigenous languages to enter the 2010/11 Multilingualism Awards. Members of the public are also encouraged to nominate those who promote our South African languages in these various categories,” says PanSALB Acting CEO, Chris Swepu.

PanSALB was established to promote the equal use of the 11 official South African languages, and to help develop all our indigenous languages. It actively promotes multilingualism as a national resource and vehicle for national development. PanSALB also encourages the best use of the country's linguistic resources, so that South Africans can be free from all forms of linguistic discrimination, domination and division and can make the linguistic choices that suit them best.

The 2011 PanSALB Awards Ceremony promises colourful festivities to celebrate the vibrancy of South Africa’s cultural landscape. The event will also showcase Khoi, San, Nama and sign language, which are recognised by the Constitution although not official South African languages.

The PanSALB Multilingualism Awards are held each year to recognise and promote the diverse languages used in South Africa.

Alternatively, forms can be posted to: PanSALB, Private Bag X08, Arcadia 0007, or delivered to: PanSALB Head Office, 523 Church Street, 5th floor Provisus Building, Arcadia 0083, Pretoria.

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For: Sibusiso Nkosi
Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB)
012 341 9638

PanSALB to meet with Gauteng MEC for Education to discuss alleged language rights violation at Roosevelt High School

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will on Thursday meet with the Gauteng MEC for education, Ms Barbara Creecy, in an endeavour to resolve an alleged language rights violation case at Roosevelt High School in Johannesburg.

This follows media reports that a Grade 11 learner, Luthando Nxasana, was allegedly expelled from class, prevented from writing two mid-year exams or going to the toilet, and forced to spend three school days standing in a foyer for speaking isiXhosa to her classmate on the school premises.

PanSALB welcomes and applauds the initiative by the MEC for requesting that the organisation meet with her to address this matter, as this kind of problem has become common in former model C schools.

PanSALB is concerned that a pattern is emerging in former model C schools where the languages of African majorities are marginalised and underdeveloped in comparison to Afrikaans and particularly English. Learners are being punished if they are found speaking their home languages.
We cannot continue with a situation in which African children are made to leave their African languages at the gates of learning. This shows that the present framework of language policy in our schools presents major challenges. As quickly as possible, we need to expunge language domination from our educational institutions.
“Even if the language of education in school is English, you can’t stop people from speaking their mother tongue to each other,” said the acting CEO of PanSALB, Chris Swepu. He added that school language policies may not contravene the provisions of the constitution. Therefore learners may not be discriminated against on the basis of their languages at school.
The ideals regarding language enshrined in our constitution have to find expression in society. Our schools should create an environment in which children learn how to celebrate and respect our cultural diversity.
PanSALB hopes this meeting with the MEC will be a catalyst for a comprehensive approach to address gaps in the South African Schools Act that are currently being exploited to violate our constitution.    

The Board has received a formal complaint regarding this matter and a further investigation will be conducted to address the problem.


Released on behalf of PanSALB by:                                   

Sibusiso Nkosi
Communication and Marketing Manager
Tel       012 341 9638

PanSALB Senior Legal Advisor Suspended

Following media reports about the above matter, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), Chris Swepu would like to take this opportunity and confirm that he has suspended the organisation’s Senior Legal Advisor, Advocate Zixolisile Feni, pending an investigation into possible charges of misconduct.

Advocate Feni was served with his letter of suspension on Thursday last week in terms of regulation 17(a) of the PanSALB Regulations which grant the accounting officer authority to suspend an employee until an investigation or disciplinary hearing with regards to a possible charge has been completed.

“Although it was not an easy decision to take, it had to be done to bring stability and discipline within the organisation as there is no one who is above the law at PanSALB including its accounting officer. This decision has been communicated to the Board,” said Swepu.

The suspension is without any loss of remuneration or benefits to the employee, except that he was requested to hand over all assets of the Board that were in his possession and not to come to the office without prior authorisation.

PanSALB would like to state that the suspension of Advocate Feni is no way related to the allegations of mismanagement that he has sent to Parliament. We have already written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture, Dr Tshenuwani Farisani, indicating our availability to meet with him.

We would like to appeal to all concerned to give the disciplinary process a chance to deal with this matter without any interference.


Released on behalf of PanSALB by:

Sibusiso Nkosi
Manager: Communication and Marketing


012 341 9638
  Date:            17 May 2010

PanSALB welcomes court ruling on Language Act

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) embraces the ruling made yesterday by Judge Ben du Plessis to force government to enact a language act within two years.

“Whilst we appreciate the ruling, as PanSALB we find it regrettable that it took a court case of this nature to sensitise government about the need to honour the Constitution and cater for the linguistic needs of all our communities,” said its Acting Chief Executive Officer Chris Swepu.

Although PanSALB was cited as a respondent in the case and never opposed the application brought about by Cornelus Lourens, who was seeking an order compelling government to finalise and promulgate national legislation to regulate and monitor the use of all 11 official languages.

“We have been labelled as a toothless watch dog because our founding act does not bestow enough monitoring mechanisms to deal with transgressors. We have been calling for the enactment of this legislation, as we feel it will give us more authority to perform our monitoring role,” Swepu explained.

It is the belief of PanSALB that government had enough time to finalise and promulgate national legislation to regulate and monitor the use of all 11 official languages, so that the majority of illiterate citizens can be able to access information using their mother tongue.

“It is ironic that more than a decade after the dawn of South Africa's democracy the majority of citizens are still battling to access information using their mother tongue”, Swepu added.

PanSALB will continue to engage parliament and government to ensure that there are no necessary delays in implementing this judgement and it respect the ruling by the court which seeks to advance its mandate.

Released by: Sibusiso Nkosi - Communication and Marketing Manager
Tel       012 341 9638
Cell     082 855 4436
Date:   17 March 2010

Finalists In PanSALB Multilingualism Awards Announced 

The finalists in the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) annual multilingualism awards for 2010 have been announced.

The awards recognise individuals and organisations that promote and preserve  multilingualism and are made in eight categories - music, media, language and literature, technology and business, public sector, education, interpretation and translation and the chairperson’s special award for a lifetime achievement.

In the category for music the finalists are KB Motsilanyane, Thembi Seete and Theo Kgosinkwe.  

In the language, written and oral literature category the finalists in Afrikaans are authors André Brink, Antjie Krog and Deon Meyer. 

In Setswana the finalists are the Reverend Dietrich Mascher and Thapelo Moraka.

In isiXhosa the finalists are Professors Mncedisi Jordan and Peter Mtuze and Ncebakisi Mogale.

In Tshivenda the finalists are Domina Napoleon Munzhelele, Konanani Muebi and NAPS Publishers.  

The finalists for Sesotho are Kabelo Duncan Kgatea, Paul Katiso Nkhoesa and Thapelo Moraka.

In South African sign language the finalists are Francois Deysel and Philemon Akash.

In Khoi, Nama and San languages the finalists are Gerhardus Damarah and the Khwedam Language Committee. 

In the media category the finalists in the television programme section are the Dtv programme on SABC3 and 7de Laan on SABC2.  In the journalism section the finalists are Aron Mbonani, radio sports commentator on Ikwekwezi FM, Goitsemanga Seleka, presenter on Motsweding FM,  NNdededzeni Ramushwana and Themba Makeleni of SABC TV News.   

The finalists for companies in the technology and business category that promote multilingualism are Cell Life and Mohapi Financial Services and the finalists for technological innovation are Professor Danie Prinsloo of the University of Pretoria’s Department of African Languages, Professor de Schryver of the University of  Pretoria, Dr Marietta Alberts of PanSALB’s terminology section and Mediasoft Technologies. 

In the public sector category the finalists are the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports in the Western Cape, the Free State Department of Health and the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture in the Eastern Cape.

In the education category the finalists for higher education institutions are the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and North-West’s Potchefstroom campus and for basic education institutions are the CEFUPS Academy and the Merara Institute at the CSIR. 

The finalists in the interpretation and translation category are the Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disability, the North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus and the QuadPara Association of South Africa.   

The winners will be announced in Johannesburg on Saturday, 20 February 2010 to coincide with International Mother Tongue Day on 21 February.

The chairman’s special lifetime award will also be made on Saturday evening.  It goes to the individual or institution that has, according to the judges, made a meaningful contribution to multilingualism.   


Released by: Sibusiso Nkosi -Communication and Marketing Manager
Tel       012 341 9638
Date:   22 February 2010

About PanSALB

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is a statutory body established to create conditions to develop and promote the equal use and enjoyment of all the official South African languages. It actively promotes an awareness of multilingualism as a national resource.

Keywords: Indigenous Languages