SA’s 12th official language is sign

“Finally!  It’s official, a long-awaited dream come true” – Nazereen Captieux Bhana (eDeaf CEO)

In a landmark decision today, South African Sign Language has been declared an official language, marking a significant achievement for the Deaf community, and advancing the cultural aspects of SASL.

This historical step not only recognises the importance of SASL but also ensures the realisation of the rights of persons who are Deaf and hard of hearing to equal protection, benefit of the law, and human dignity.

The recognition of SASL as an official language is a vital milestone that promotes inclusive and substantive equality, aligning with the principles of Section 9 of the South African Constitution.  It solidifies the commitment to prevent unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability, fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.

Nazereen Captieux Bhana (eDeaf CEO) & Jesse Kotze’ (eDeaf COO) celebrate the news.

For years, members of the Deaf community have faced numerous challenges due to the lack of recognition of their language. Their experiences and perspectives were often overlooked, hindering their full participation in society. However, today’s declaration is a transformative step towards rectifying these injustices and empowering the Deaf community of South Africa.

SASL is a rich and expressive language that hold immense cultural significance for the Deaf community. It is through SASL that Deaf individuals can fully express themselves, share stories, and connect with others. With this official recognition, the cultural aspects of SASL will be advanced, preserving and celebrating the unique heritage and identity of the Deaf community.

By granting SASL official status, the South African government acknowledges the importance of embracing linguistic diversity and creating a more inclusive society.  This recognition will not only benefit the Deaf community, but also foster understanding and inclusion among the wider population.  It is an opportunity for all citizens to learn about and appreciate the beauty and complexity of SASL. Members of the community are encouraged to download our FREE SASL app (DEAFinition) and register for our course in basic South African Sign Language for only R249 (

By recognizing SASL as an official language, South Africa embraces linguistic diversity, upholds the rights of its Deaf citizens, and celebrates the richness of its cultural tapestry.

On 1 September, the official start of Deaf Awareness month, internationally, DEAFinition NPC is hosting an event in KZN to showcase the beauty of Sign Language and highlight the challenges Deaf people face with regards to literacy.  Renowned African Story-teller Dr Gcina Mhlophe will be sharing an insightful story about a Deaf child, and we will be entertained by Fulton School for the Deaf signing choir.  Many corporates who currently host or employ learners will be in attendance. Corporates who are interested to know more about the benefits of employing a Deaf person into their business are encouraged to attend this very special event. For tickets and further information, contact



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