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Civil organizations want Ramaphosa to learn sign language to apologize to deaf community

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Civil society organizations want President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet to learn sign language as an apology to the deaf community for delaying the process of recognizing it as an official language.

An organization called Tourism Friendly on Saturday said the president had ignored a promise he made last year to the deaf community that sign language would become the 12th official language.

The organization’s director Ian Gunn said the recognition of South African sign language would accelerate and deepen the inclusion of deaf people as a linguistic and cultural right.

In March last year, the president himself said that they’re very close to making sign language the 12th official language. My comment to the president is, you have made a promise which you haven’t kept. So, as an apology to all the people with hearing disabilities and deaf in South Africa, the president should learn sign language and apologize to the deaf.”


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