Minister Marais' Speech at International Year of Indigenous Languages Launch | Western Cape Government



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Minister Marais' Speech at International Year of Indigenous Languages Launch

20 March 2019



20 MARCH 2018


Good day, goeiedag, molweni nonke

It gives me great pleasure to address you at this very significant launch of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) in our beautiful Mother City this afternoon.

The United Nations declared 2019 The International Year of Indigenous Languages in order to raise awareness of them, not only to benefit the people who speak these languages, but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity. The Western Cape Government supports this very important drive as it is through language that we communicate with the world, define our identity, express our history and culture, learn, defend our human rights and participate in all aspects of society, to name but a few.

Through language, people preserve their community’s history, customs and traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking, meaning and expression.  We also use it to imagine our individual as well as collective future as it is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation and sustainable development.

Often, too many people underestimate the importance of affording the space for self- improvement in one’s indigenous language and today we celebrate this significance by collaboratively focusing on indigenous language and its profound contributions made to knowledge, peace, social justice, integration and diversity.  This engagement indeed shows in real terms that together we are committed to empowering all who calls the Western Cape and the greater South Africa home by exploring our national identity while shining the spotlight on self-identity through indigenous linguistic practices. 

Die Wes-Kaapse Departement van Kultuursake en Sport is steeds daartoe verbind om gelyke behandeling vir die amptelike tale van ons provinsie te verseker en om voorheen gemarginaliseerde tale, insluitend Suid-Afrikaanse Gebaretaal, te bevorder. Ek kondig met trots aan dat ons Departement belangrike vordering gemaak het om 'n bemagtigende omgewing te skep waarin taaldemokrasie kan floreer.

Ons het en sal voortgaan om veeltaligheid te bevorder, taalkundige wanbalanse te herstel en voorheen gemarginaliseerde tale te ontwikkel om by te dra tot maatskaplike integrering, om nasiebou en transformasie te bevorder. Op hierdie manier werk ons aan en ontwikkel ons ons visie van 'n sosiaal inklusiewe, aktiewe en verbonde Wes-Kaap.

Ek vertrou dat die interaksies wat tydens hierdie program sal plaasvind, sal bydra tot 'n beter begrip van ons diversiteit as Suid-Afrikaners en meer insig sal verleen in ons veeltalige en multikulturele smeltkroes wat ons geliefde land is.

Ek dank u

Media Enquiries: 

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