Deaf Rugby Sign Language
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The South African Sign Language Bill has been unanimously passed which means it’s on its way to becoming SA’s 12th official language.


South Africa (03 May 2023) – Over the last few years, we have been rejoicing as South African Sign Language (SASL) moves closer and closer to the mark of being an official language. We have updated in May of 2021 and August of 2022, each time sharing how much closer to the 12th official spot it has come. Now, the bill has been unanimously passed, a major win!

During 2018, South Africans rejoiced when SASL was recognised as a home language and included in the National Senior Certificate curriculum as one of the examinable subjects. With South Africa touting to be one of the most inclusive nations in the world (hello rainbow nation), it was only fair to include SASL as one of the many diverse and beautiful languages we can use to communicate.

That reality is now but a historic moment away!

This has been a long road that started with Parliament being addressed by the Deaf Federation of South Africa in 2007. In 2017 the Constitutional Review Committee recommended that the constitution be amended to include SASL as one of the official languages.

In 2022, President Ramaphosa approved the 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill, and on the 20th of July 2022, the Government Gazette issued a notice that calls for public comment on the amendment that will make SASL an official language.

“The committee received 58 written submissions from individuals and submissions. The majority of the submissions were in support of the bill. The committee noted the view expressed of the few that were opposed to the bill, but submits that the recognition of SA Sign Language as a twelfth official language is an important step forward.” – Bulelani Magwanishe, Justice Committee

The Bill was then introduced to Parliament in January 2023. It needed a two-thirds majority to pass but South African politicians approved it unanimously, citing that they wanted to promote the language and its dialects.

It is happening! Every South African with hearing impairments, will soon be protected be equally protected under the law.

Source: EWN
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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