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May 20, 2024

Sign language becomes SA’s 12th official language

South Africa has officially recognized sign language as its 12th official language.

President Cyril Ramaphosa formally approved the Sign Language Bill into law during a ceremony in Pretoria.

South Africa is the fourth country on the continent to recognise signing as an official language after Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

The South African National Deaf Association said the law was “long overdue.”

It’s estimated that there are 600,000 deaf people in South Africa and 1.4 million with hearing loss.

Some of the country’s other languages are Afrikaans, English, Xhosa and Zulu.

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