The Use of Official Languages Act – changing the face of South African business.

Government departments across South Africa have recently found out about new legislation that will change the face of South business.

The Use of Official Languages Act specifies that:

  • Every government department/entity across South Africa must identify at least three official languages.
  • Every department has to describe how these languages will be used to communicate with the public. (official notices, publications and inter-government communications)
  • Government entities will have to publicly disclose how the three official languages of their choice will be used to communicate effectively with the public. They will also have to ensure that a copy of their language policy is available at all their offices.   They also need to display a summary of their language in full public view.


The act has far reaching effects that filter down to our primary and tertiary level education systems and our entire society. The act is part of a greater move to increase the use of official languages throughout a multicultural South Africa.

By specifying that at least three official languages must be used, government has ensured that languages including IsiZulu, Sesotho and IsiXhosa get as much exposure as the traditional business languages – English and Afrikaans.

We are entering a renaissance of language in South Africa, where all official languages will be taught, nurtured and developed.

Implementing the Official Languages effectively requires a great deal of planning and communication. Most importantly it requires high quality, professional translation. Translation and the translators involved are the key step to implementing the act. Their professionalism and quality of work will be a major factor in determining the success of the Use of Official Languages Act.


Bangula has been running big and small translation projects for our clients successfully for over 10 years. We’ve built up an excellent database of tried and tested freelancers over the years. This experience has enabled us to develop an outsourcing model that truly benefits our clients. Bangula specializes in helping government departments to become compliant with the Official Languages Act.

Contact us now to find out more.