The Chapter 9 institution CRL Rights Commission has joined the deaf community in making submissions to the constitutional review committee in parliament to amend Chapter 1 of the constitution to record SA Sign Language (SASL) as the country’s 12th official language.
The commission promotes cultural and language rights.
CRL Rights Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the submission was made on February 3 and is part of an awareness campaign.
Officials from seven provinces falling under the South African National Deaf Association (Sandra) on Monday gathered at the commission’s offices to look into challenges encountered by the deaf community, among others social exclusion, language barriers, oppression and autism.
The commission said in many developing countries most deaf people did not get any education and it was estimated that approximately 80% of the world’s 70 million deaf people did not have any access to education.
About 1% to 2% of the deaf are educated in sign language.
Former SABC’s Generations and e.tv’s Scandal actor Sello Maake Ka Ncube was one of those who joined the discussions.
Maake Ka Ncube’s daughter, Lerato, 31, is deaf.
“I find it sad how they [the deaf] are marginalised,” said Maake Ka Ncube.