Language Ambassadors Announced
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport values the importance of enhancing cultural warmth through the promotion of language in the Western Cape. On Wednesday, 19 September 2012, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer welcomed the appointment of Professor Rajendra Chetty as chairperson and Ms Ria Olivier as deputy chairperson of the Western Cape Language Committee (WCLC). The committee is appointed every three years in terms of the Western Cape Provincial Languages Act to advise the minister on language matters.
Dr Meyer urged the members to use language as an instrument to promote cultural warmth. “Use this platform to promote the languages of others before you focus on your own. Respect for the language of others promotes cultural warmth,” he said.
Professor Chetty of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology brings with him a wealth of experience in the areas of literacy and language. He is also a council member of the English Academy of Southern Africa.
Ms Olivier previously served as a member of the National Language Body for Afrikaans and was formerly Chief Executive Officer of the Stigting vir Bemagtiging deur Afrikaans. She has extensive experience in the areas of language practice and the promotion of multilingualism.
Dr Meyer announced that the first Neville Alexander Language Award would be handed out at the 2012 Western Cape Arts and Culture Award ceremony later this year. The award will be made in honour of the legacy of the late Dr Alexander, a founder member of the Language Committee and chief author of the Western Cape Language Policy.
Professor Chetty said, “The Western Cape Language Committee has a demanding task ahead. We will engage rigorously and objectively as we set about our broader task of monitoring and promoting languages in our communities.”
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