21 March 2019

South Africa: Promote Indigenous Languages This Human Rights Month

Government has used this year's Human Rights Day to draw attention to the importance of indigenous languages and the need to preserve, revitalise and promote them.

The theme for Human Rights Day is 'The Year of Indigenous Languages: Promoting and Deepening a Human Rights Culture'.

Government today hosted the national commemoration event of Human Rights Day in Sharpeville in Gauteng Province.

Government called on all South Africans to revive the commemorative celebrations of Human Rights Day as a milestone in the struggle for liberation.

South Africans are urged to use their indigenous languages as part of the promotion and deepening of a human rights culture in honour of the heroes and heroines, who were killed on 21 March 1960.

Indigenous languages have the potential to promote equality, understanding and greater human dignity. Preserving and upholding languages will keep them alive and help connect people with history.

"Let us remind ourselves of the significance of human rights and promote values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage all individuals to respect the rights of others.

"Let us ensure that all South Africans, without exception, enjoy a right to use their language and participate in the cultural life of their choice," said Phumla Williams, the acting Director General of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

South Africans are encouraged to join the conversation on social media and share messages or memories of Human Rights Day using the hashtags #HumanRightsDay, #IndigenousLanguages and #IAmTheFlag.

Follow on social media @SAGovNews and @GovernmentZA for updates on Human Rights Day proceedings.

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