Western Cape to Honour Neville Alexander
Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, earlier today (19 September 2012) announced at the inaugural meeting of the newly appointed Western Cape Language Committee (WCLC) that the Neville Alexander Language Award will be awarded at the 2012 Western Cape Arts and Culture Award Ceremony, which will be held later this year. “The award for excellence in language will be made in honour of the work and legacy of the late Dr Neville Alexander, a founder member of the Western Cape Language Committee and chief author of the Western Cape Language Policy,” said Minister Meyer.
Minister Meyer also used the opportunity to announce the appointment of the new chairperson, Professor Rajendra Chetty, and deputy chairperson, Ms Ria Olivier, to the Western Cape Language Committee.
Former member of the Western Cape Language Committee, Professor Chetty brings with him a wealth of expertise as researcher in the areas of literacy and language. He is also a council member of the English Academy of Southern Africa.
Deputy Chairperson, Ria Olivier, previously served as a member of the National Language Body for Afrikaans and is a former Chief Executive Officer for the Stigting vir Bemagtiging deur Afrikaans. Olivier has wide experience in the areas of language practice and the promotion of multilingualism.
Addressing the Western Cape Language Committee, Minister 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,” said Minister Meyer.
Professor Chetty thanked the minister for his support, saying that “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 languages in our communities.”
The committee is appointed in terms of the Western Cape Language Act of 2009 for a three-year term of office.