Half of all government departments are ignoring the Constitution

2015-10-14
Dr Pieter Mulder

The ANC government is ignoring the Constitution and other legislation much more easily. The government’s implementation of the Language Act and the Omar al-Bashir incident are the most recent examples, Dr. Pieter Mulder, FF Plus Leader says.

To a question of the FF Plus in the parliamentary portfolio committee on Arts and Culture, the department said this week that only 15 of the 47 government departments have released their language policies to date. Another ten departments only have draft language policies, Dr. Mulder, who had posed the question, said.

“That means that nearly half of all government departments are blatantly ignoring the provisions of the Constitution and the Language Act.

“The Use of Official Languages Act, 12 of 2012, obligates all government departments to adopt a language policy and implement it in their relevant departments. The Act was adopted by the ANC government after a court case had forced it to give effect to Section 6(4) of the Constitution.

“This Section in the Constitution obligates government to implement the Constitution’s language policy through the adoption of legislation. The fact that the Language Act had only been adopted in 2012, 18 years after 1994, is already an indictment of ANC government.

“Following the adoption of the Language Act, the minister of Arts and Culture set various deadlines by which time government departments had to comply with the requirements of the Act. The deadlines were repeatedly postponed.

“The last deadline was 2 May of this year. Despite the fact that the deadline had been postponed more than once, only 25 of the 47 government departments had paid attention to the issue. Of these, ten are only draft policies.

“The ANC government is only paying lip-service to the Constitution and is not serious about the Constitution’s language clauses which envisage multi-lingualism. The lack of action since 1994 to date confirms this.

“If the situation does not improve shortly, there will be no alternative to once again approach the court in an attempt to force the government to meet its Constitutional obligations,” Dr. Mulder said.

 

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