South African Journal of African Languages

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Language as a fundamental right: How do the African languages benefit from this right?

Stanley Madonsela


Fifteen years have passed since the South African Constitution first declared that there would be 11 official languages in South Africa. This declaration was intended to enhance the promotion and development of the historically marginalised ethnic languages of South Africa, redressing apartheid policies where all ethnic languages were suppressed and undermined by the highest authority. The new constitution brought millions of Africans hope that their identity would at last be acknowledged through the official recognition of their languages. The aim of this article is to investigate the role of the constitutional imperatives and other legal resources in addressing the issue of language, especially African languages, as a fundamental right.

South African Journal of African Languages 2012, 32(1): 91–97

AJOL African Journals Online