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South African Journal of African Languages

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Communication policy and communication practice within the eThekwini Municipality

Vusumuzi Hadebe

Abstract


The study described in this article consisted of a survey that was conducted among a sample of eThekwini (Durban) municipal departments. These departments are tasked with the provision of (and ensuring access to) essential services that are affordable to the local communities, for example, water, electricity and sanitation. The aim was to investigate whether this large municipality, tasked with providing basic services to clients from different backgrounds, has a language policy in line with South Africa’s Constitutional guarantees. The main research question was: What is the de jure language policy and de facto language practice within the eThekwini Municipality? The aim of this exploratory research study was to obtain information that would cast light on the issue of how the municipality communicates with both its internal and external stakeholders in the democratic South Africa. The survey revealed that although the municipality has put internal and external communication strategies in place using the most recognized regional languages i.e. isiZulu, English and Afrikaans, English is still dominant, as it is widely used by management and other employees both externally and internally. Further, the eThekwini Municipality does have a language policy that is aligned to the National Language Policy.

S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang.,2009, 2



AJOL African Journals Online