The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mrs Naledi Pandor, the Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Gert Oosthuizen, the Commission for the Promotion of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, Ms. Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, and the Secretary-General of the South African National Commission for UNESCO, Mr Carlton Lufuno Mukwevho, were invited to join the 138 years old National Institute for the Deaf (NID) in its celebration to mark Sign Language (SASL) as the recommended 12th language in South Africa. The event took place on Wednesday, 12 March 2019 in Worcester, in the Western Cape Province.
The event sought to celebrate the recommended inclusion of the Sign Language as the 12th official language in South Africa. The event also aimed to recognise and create awareness on the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration of September 23rd as International Day of Sign Languages, and support the UNESCO Information for All Programme (IFAP)’s objective of promoting access to information and extending the Knowledge Skills for all deaf individuals. The ACEIE is heading the UNESCO IFAP activities in South Africa, and co-hosted the event. A further objective was to involve the NID deaf students, people with hearing disabilities, and stakeholders in the international celebration.