Johannesburg - The South African government dedicated this year's Human Rights Day commemorations to the promotion of indigenous languages, including sign language, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in Sharpeville on Thursday.
"We want to do so because language is a fundamental part in building a human rights culture. This coincides with the United Nations declaration of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. In according all our languages the respect that they are due, we are affirming the dignity, worth and humanity of every South African," said Ramaphosa.
He said the commemorations are aimed at highlighting efforts to conserve languages that are in danger of becoming extinct, such as Nama language of the Khoisan people.
Primary schools in the Northern Cape have started teaching the Nama language, he said.
"A language rule book is being finalised by the Pan South African Language Board. The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities is actively involved in resuscitating Isihlubi, Isibhaca, Northern Ndebele and other indigenous languages," Ramaphosa said.