Language as a Governance Issue in an Integrated Community in South Africa

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Language as a Governance Issue in an Integrated Community in South Africa
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture, Inter/Multiculturalism & Language
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Sandiso Ngcobo, Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa


The purpose of this presentation is to explore how language is used in an integrated housing settlement between leaders and their diverse constituencies found in South Africa. The paper adopts an interdisciplinary approach that draws from language and social justice as a field in linguistics and governance within public administration. The research approach is qualitative in that fifteen randomly selected participants were interviewed on their experiences and feelings about the use of language(s) as a means of communication by political leaders. The findings indicate that whilst most participants were happy with the dominant use of their African language, it emerged that non-speakers of isiZulu were often left behind when it came to several consultative programmes. It is recommended that effort should be made to involve all citizens in society through the exploration of available multilingual resources, such as translation, interpretation and sign language. This would help in the use of language to promote social justice, integration and equity in accessing information and services.

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