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Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill Drawn Up

July 20, 2022

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

An amendment to Section 6 of the Constitution is on the cards.

The justice and constitutional development department published the proposed amendment in Government Gazette 47049 for comment.

The Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill seeks to amend section 6 of the Constitution in order to provide for the recognition of South African Sign Language as an official language of South Africa.

According to the department, the recognition of South African Sign Language as an official language will result in the cultural acceptance of sign language and the deaf culture.

It will also “promote inclusion, substantive equality and prevent or eliminate unfair discrimination on the ground of disability”.

The draft bill aims to amend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, so as to:

  • recognise South African Sign Language as one of the official languages of the Republic; and
  • provide for matters incidental thereto.

Comment is invited within 30 working days of the date of publication.