In the apartheid era languages were used to divide people, with certain languages seen to be more "important than others". Whereby certain languages were merely limited to regions,as soon as one stepped out of the region the language was made to be redundent as if its a foreign language in one's country.Yet the struggle for freedom which brought about human rights for all these rights have also ensured the protection of indegenous languages. We find out more about the issue of language Rights.
Wseek to find out on how everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice, without hindrance.Persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community may not be denied the right, with other members of that community to enjoy our culture, practice their religion and use their language; and to form, join and maintain cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society. The rights in subsection may not be exercised in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.
Constitution as adopted on 8 May 1996 states the following :
Section 6 According to the official languages of the Republic are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Recognising the historically diminished use and status of the indigenous languages of our people, the state must take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of these languages.
(a) The national government and provincial governments may use any particular official languages for the purposes of government, taking into account usage, practicality, expense, regional circumstances and the balance of the needs and preferences of the population as a whole or in the province concerned; but the national government and each provincial government must use at least two official languages.
(b) Municipalities must take into account the language usage and preferences of their residents.
The national government and provincial governments, by legislative and other measures, must regulate and monitor their use of official languages. Without detracting from the provisions of subsection (2), all official languages must enjoy parity of esteem and must be treated equitably. The primary objects of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities are -
(a) to promote respect for the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities;
(b) to promote and develop peace, friendship, humanity, tolerance and national unity among cultural, religious and linguistic communities, on the basis of equality, non-discrimination and free association; and
(c) to recommend the establishment or recognition, in accordance with national legislation, of a cultural or other council or councils for a community or communities in South Africa.
(2) The Commission has the power, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to achieve its primary objects, including the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities.
(3) The Commission may report any matter which falls within its powers and functions to the Human Rights Commission for investigation.
(4) The Commission has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation.