The City of Tshwane Language Services Section has been awarded the 2022 Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) Multilingualism Award for using and promoting multilingualism. The City's Language Services Section accepted the prestigious award at the PanSALB Multilingualism Awards ceremony that was held in Sandton on 15 June 2022. Through its Language Services Section, the City of Tshwane Communication, Marketing and Events Department managed to win one of the major categories, which is the Government/Public Sector category.
The Multilingualism Awards are bestowed by PanSALB on organisations and individuals who have excelled in the promotion, protection and preservation of all South Africa's official languages, including Khoi, Nama and San, as well as South African Sign Language. The awards assist in raising awareness of language and recognise exceptional work done in safeguarding language freedom. This also encourages multilingualism and social cohesion. The award is appropriate as the City continues to promote the use of all official languages.
The City of Tshwane is the only municipality in Gauteng that has a fully operational multilingual language unit. Our Language Policy recognises eight languages as official in Tshwane (isiZulu, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, Xitsonga, Tshivenda, Setswana and Sepedi). The policy is implemented through various activities, such as editing, terminology development, interpreting services, as well as translation.
Through our Language Services Section, the City has also contributed to postgraduate researchers by assisting with language policy information. The section also contributes to the training of interpreters and translators through its skills development programme (internships) and our collaboration with the University of Johannesburg and Tshwane University of Technology.
We have also made strides in influencing multilingualism in the social media space. For instance, our social media account uses different languages which increases the participation of followers.
The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Alderman Randal Williams, congratulated the Language Services Section and its management for their achievement and thanked them for their contribution to multilingualism.