- Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has encouraged the use of indigenous languages in society
- According to Mogoeng, using indigenous languages could improve the education system
- Mogoeng says the state must be deliberate in the development of indigenous languages
As the world observes International Mother Language Day, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has put it on government to take the responsibility in ensuring that South African indigenous languages are preserved.
Mogoeng said this when he spoke at the launch of Indigenous Languages for Advancement (Ilifa) at the University of Johannesburg on Friday, 21 February.
The worldwide observation of International Mother Language Day is held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.
One Facebook user congratulated the organisation for such a beautiful initiative: "Halala Bantu bekhethu halala asirageleni phambili singabe sisaqalemva ihle lento ayifuni ukumoroswa."
According to reports by Sowetan Live, Mogoeng said there was a lot to learn from the previous government in how it invested in the development of Afrikaans for it to be used in education and all forms of communication.
"The fact that it was misused is neither here nor there. The big question is how did it get developed? It was the state that assumed its responsibility at the time because the Afrikaans people felt at the time that English was given preeminence over their language. They then took it upon themselves to develop their language. They invested a lot of money and expertise on the progressive development of the Afrikaans language," said Mogoeng.
He says the state must be deliberate in the development of indigenous languages.
Ilifa was established by legendary South African actor Mabutho 'Kid' Sithole last year.
Ilifa is a Xhosa word that means legacy or heritage.
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