One South Africa (OSA) movement leader Mmusi Maimane and his wife Natalie have posted a video on social media calling for unity in the form of learning one another’s languages.
Maimane challenged South Africans to learn a new South African language in 2021, saying his aim is to learn Tshivenda. His wife is going to learn how to speak Setswana.
“We need to build a reconciled nation”, Maimane said, adding that learning each other’s languages allows us to “gain access to their culture, their traditions, their thoughts, to who they are”.
I challenge you to learn a new South African language this year. pic.twitter.com/9LTHq283vJ
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) January 2, 2021
Maimane said if all citizens embark on this challenge, the country can start making concerted steps toward a reconciled nation.
The message comes just after the Department of Basic Education confirmed its call for written submissions to recognise South African sign language (SASL) as a home language for promotional purpose, from Grade R to matric.
SASL was officially recognised as a home language and part of the examinable curriculum in 2018.
The department called for submissions on 18 December 2020. Those interested are invited to submit written comments on the proposed amendment by 29 January.
Deaf learners would be able to list South African sign language as their home language, and may select it as a first additional language.
South African sign language would also achieve the status as an official language of learning and teaching, in lieu of the second required official language, the department said.
Compiled by Nica Richards