Multilingualism and the New Language Policy in South Africa: Innovation and Challenges

Amaka E. Ideh, John O. Onu


South Africa moved from two official languages - English and Afrikaans during apartheid to eleven official languages in the new democratic government. The new language policy also recognises South African Sign Language and encourages its development. This paper examines the apartheid and democratic language policies, their practicality and challenges with particular focus on political administration, education and the media, as they are important institutions in language policy implementation. The paper argues that there is still marginalisation of indigenous black South African languages even with new language policy.

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