Minister Marais launches first of its kind isiXhosa netball rulebook | Western Cape Government


Minister Marais launches first of its kind isiXhosa netball rulebook

22 February 2021

In celebration of International Mother Language Day commemorated yesterday, Minister Marais, today, launched the very first isiXhosa Netball Rulebook, the third code to be published in the Western Cape, following chess and cricket. 

Key to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) is our commitment to promoting sport as a vehicle for the reconciliation and development of the Western Cape community through the provision of equitable and accessible sport programmes and services. To increase access and participation in sport in the Western Cape, together with our professional linguistic partners and expert code stakeholders, we collaboratively engaged on translating code-specific material to facilitate learning, understanding and mastering various sport codes, which before was only available in either English or Afrikaans.

To promote meaningful social inclusivity in the code of netball, language was cited as the major tool to facilitate the programme to make it accessible to all. It has long been reported by prominent linguistics scholars that people feel more comfortable in learning in a language they best understand. Manuals and rules of most sport codes played in South Africa are in English and Afrikaans. Very little sport literature is known to have been published in any of the African languages spoken by the majority of the country. Translating the existing manuals became the department’s first port of call and we then prioritised the publishing of this book so that all language communities can find it easy to learn the code of netball.

The very first DCAS isiXhosa chess book was launched in July 2015. After months of deliberation and receiving the required approvals from linguistic authorities, we launched the world’s first isiXhosa Cricket Rulebook in October 2018.

In September 2015, the DCAS launched the very first trilingual terminology booklet, a crucial step in the ongoing development of the province’s 3 official languages: Afrikaans, isiXhosa and English. The booklet, also a first of its kind, comprises new official words for use in the language of government in the Western Cape, and standardizes terms across the 3 languages. This is an important contribution to our provincial language heritage.

The booklet consists of terms and standard phrases used by the Western Cape Government which are not available in existing dictionaries.

Examples of these include:

·         Equal opportunity programme – inkqubo yokunika amathuba ngokulinganayo, program vir gelyke geleenthede

·         MOD Centre – iZiko leMOD, MOD-Sentrum

·         Transparency – kuheleni/nyaniseko, deursigtigheid

The DCAS also has proactive services available to ease communication between the hearing public and the deaf community. We are proud to announce that our departmental Language Services Unit provides transversal language support services, including SASL interpreting to deaf officials in the employment of the Western Cape Government. The Department, in consultation with organisations representing interests of the Deaf communities in the province, has created a credible database of professionally trained SASL interpreters. In December 2017, we launched the official poster to inform the public that they can contact our Language Unit if sign interpreters are needed so to create an enabling environment, which is linguistically inclusive.

We will continue to promote multilingualism, redress linguistic imbalances and develop previously marginalised languages to forge a common path together, united in our diversity.  It is hoped that the engagements of this significant commemorative day will contribute to a better understanding of our nuances and provide greater insight into our multilingual and multicultural melting pot that is South Africa.

Media Enquiries: 

Stacy McLean
Spokesperson for Anroux Marais, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport
083 504 1171