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Languages Practitioners Council Bill Returned to Assembly

July 25, 2017

Department of Arts and Culture

The South African Language Practitioners’ Council Bill (2013) has been returned to the National Assembly (NA) by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for consideration of proposed additional amendments.

Additional amendments refer to a printing error that omitted the section 75 tagging, the arrangements of sections and clauses as well as the clarification of the process of the bill through parliament.

The bill is an enabling legislation which will facilitate the effective implementation of the constitutional obligations concerning multilingualism and the Use of Official Languages Act (2012) by providing for the establishment of the South African Language Practitioners’ Council.

The aim of the bill is to provide for the objects, powers, duties and functions of the council and to determine the manner in which the council is to be managed, governed, staffed and financed.

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 council will be active in promoting language practitioner training and making recommendations on the provision of such training as well as proposing levels of competency testing and the accreditation of qualifications.

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.

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 bill was published in Gazette 34675 on 12 October 2012 and in Gazette 36557 on 14 June 2013 before being tabled in parliament on 18 June 2013 and considered by the select committee in the NCOP on 13 November 2013.

The bill with amendments was then passed by the NCOP and returned to the portfolio committee on arts and culture in the NA on 21 November.