The South African Language Practitioners’ Council Act (2014) which is aimed at meeting constitutional obligations concerning multilingualism was signed by President Jabob Zuma last Friday.
The act will also facilitate the effective implementation of the Use of Official Languages Act (2012) by providing for the establishment of the South African Language Practitioners’ Council.
The council will promote and protect language practice in South Africa by regulating the training of language practitioners and providing for the control of the accreditation and registration of language practitioners.
The council will consult with related entities including the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), the Department of Arts and Culture, the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and the National Skills Authority.
The accreditations of voluntary associations that are in the field of translation, interpreting, lexicography, terminology and language editing will also be assessed by the council.
In terms of the act registered practitioners who will be assessed against qualifications and experience to be prescribed by the board will be issued a certificate of registration for a period of one year and an annual fee will be required for subsequent years of certification.
The act also refers to the objects, powers, duties, functions, management, financing and staffing of the council.
The signed act was published in notice 384 in Gazette 37660 on 20 May 2014 and will take effect on a date to be announced at a later stage.
The bill was first published by the Department of Arts and Culture in Gazette 34675 on 12 October 2012 and was tabled in parliament on 18 June 2013 before being sent to the president for assent on 4 March 2014 after its approval.
In November last year the bill had been returned to the National Assembly (NA) by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for consideration of proposed additional amendments including rectifying a printing error that omitted the section 75 tagging.