Public comment sought – SANSA Language policy


1. Preamble

Regulation 3 of the Use of Official Languages Act, Act No 12 of 2012 (“UOLA”) requires the entities of the Department of Science and Technology to publish its proposed language policy in the Government Gazette for public comment before proceeding to publish its adopted language policy.

The purpose of the language policy is to provide a framework and guideline for communicating official documentation in at least three (3) official languages. It is the responsibility of the organisation to report against targets set for Government’s UOLA.

The policy is intended to deal only with communication by the Agency in official documents and marketing material in at least three (3) official South African laguages and not to duplicate other policies and procedures. The languages identified for initial use are English, IsiZulu and Sepedi.

Kindly submit any comments to by 16 April 2015


2. Policy Scope

2.1 Policy subject area

This policy is to be implemented by any SANSA employee responsible for communicating to stakeholders in written form.

The languages chosen apply to the agreed official documents and supporting material as stated in this policy

SANSA will ensure that reporting will be made to Ministry of Arts and Culture and DST annually

All material translated will be accurate and accessible

2.2 Complaints mechanism for members of the public

Any complaint related to the Agency’s use of official languages can be lodged in writing to the SANSA CEO within three (3) months of the event arising.

Complaints can be hand delivered to the Corporate Office street address in Pretoria or via registered post to:


PO Box 484


Pretoria 0127

2.3 Regular monitoring and assessing

SANSA will regularly monitor and assess its use of official languages

SANSA will regularly monitor and assess compliance with this Policy

2.4 Compilation of a report

SANSA will annually compile and submit a report to the Minister of Arts and Culture, DST and to the PanSALB in compliance with the legislative requirements

The report referred to above, shall include a report on the activities and progress

made with the implementation of this Policy, and any complaints received and resolutions taken to address such complaints.

2. 5 Access to the language policy

The language policy will be published in the Government Gazette in English, and translations will be made available in IsiZulu and Sepedi.

This Policy shall be available in hard copy format, as well as electronically and a summary thereof will be displayed in the three official languages on SANSA’s website


3. Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to implement section 4(1) of the Use of Official Languages Act, 2012 (Act No. 12 of 2012). It also takes into account the Use of Official Languages Regulations 2013, and the National Language Policy Framework 2003. All these documents are ultimately intended to give effect to section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.


4. Policy Principles

Ensuring conformance to this policy will be guided by the following principles:

The official documents identified in this policy will be accurately translated and made accessible to the public and stakeholders.

SANSA will not be restricted to the three languages of English, IsiZulu and Sepedi in communications and may include any of the other 11 official languages should it deem it necessary.

In subsequent years, SANSA will be guided in addition of other official languages and sign language by Department of Science and Technology

Complaints mechanism is in place and any complaints arising will be handled promptly and fairly

SANSA will partner with University linguistics departments to provide assistance in terminology development and translation services

Reporting to Minister of Arts and Culture to be made timeously and accurately


5. Policy Statements

SANSA supports the promotion and equitable treatment of all 11 official languages of the Republic of South Africa, as well as the facilitation of equitable access to services and information on the Agency to all citizens of the country.

SANSA is committed to contributing to the knowledge of all citizens on space science and technology through communication of its activities, products and services.

SANSA is committed to ensuring that communication activities undertaken by the organisation contribute positively to the reputation and brand image of SANSA.


6. Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

6.1 Monitoring, control and enforcement

Each Managing Director of a directorate / head of operating unit / manager / supervisor / job function involved with communicating official documents to stakeholders is responsible for ensuring where feasible that the information is translated in the agreed official languages.

SANSA Communication function to monitor compliance with the policy in accordance with the legislative requirements.

The executive authority must implement an effective and efficient monitoring and review system to ensure that SANSA’s goals and objectives are achieved and to implement corrective actions in cases of under-performance.

6.2 Action for non-compliance

Non-compliance to this procedure can result in the following actions:

Training in policy, procedure and/or process

Negative effect on individual performance

Procedural action

Evaluation and review

The Managing Directors (MDs) of the SANSA Directorates, through the Directorate’s communication practitioners, are responsible for:

Reviewing, adjusting and verifying Directorate specific language usage regarding the UOL Act requirements.

Assisting the SANSA CEO in compliance of this regulation.

This policy needs to be evaluated, reviewed and updated annually and/or when legislative amendments require.


7. Policy Implementation


Policies are to be communicated in the following ways:

All approved policies must be posted on a specifically dedicated SANSA policy website.

References to supporting documents and/or documents which are subject to periodic change must be hyperlinked to the policy document.

The staff Orientation & Induction process will be used to alert new employees of all approved policies.

SANSA internal communication to draw attention to staff of periodic updates to existing or introduction of new policies.

Roadshows across SANSA at the time of launching the policies.

Monitoring process

Policy implementation is to be monitored in the following ways:

SANSA Corporate Communications to monitor compliance with all policies in accordance with the annual reporting requirements of SANSA.

Portfolio holders are responsible for self-monitoring in respect of policy implementation in their respective domains.


Successful implementation of this policy will be affected by the existence of nationally agreed scientific lexicon in the African languages , the development of which should be driven at Government level

Terminology needs to be developed in various languages for scientific terminology can impact on meeting deadlines of delivery

Budget and human capital restrictions affect full implementation of the requirements of the Use of Official Languages Act e.g. establishment of language unit


Vaneshree Maharaj