Western Cape has spent R1.4m on outsourced language services
Cape Town - Audits to the implementation of the Western Cape language policy have found that the province’s departments spent R1.4 million on outsourced language services during the 2019/20 and the 2021/21 financial years.
The audit found that 607 language support services were rendered to the province’s departments in 2019/20 and 492 in 2020/21. This number includes in-house and outsourced translations and editing of documents in the three official languages and sign language interpreting.
The audit figures were revealed by Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais in a written answer to a question asked by DA MPL Ricardo Mackenzie.
The audits were carried out by the Western Cape Language Committee (WCLC), an advisory body and public entity of the department.
Mackenzie had asked whether there had been any audits done on the monitoring and evaluation of the use of the province’s three official languages in the last three years and what the outcomes were.
Marais said: “Results of the surveys showed that the biggest challenge for many of the province’s departments is the lack of, or limited number of, language practitioners on their staff complement.
“This results in the Western Cape Language Policy not being fully and progressively implemented in provincial government departments as yet, in spite of their best efforts to provide all communications in the three official languages.
“Due to the high level of language requests from the province’s departments, shorter translations are done in-house and lengthier documents, such as annual reports as well as sign language interpreting requests from the province are outsourced.”
Meanwhile, she said that an internal survey showed the number of language practitioners employed in the province dropped from 26 in 2016, to 17 in March 2021.
“A survey undertaken in March 2021 shows that the number of language practitioners employed in WCG departments had decreased,” said Marais.