South Africa: Umalusi Welcomes Recognition of SA Sign Language

Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, has welcomed the recognition of South African Sign Language (SASL) as the 12th official language of the country.

In a statement on Wednesday, Umalusi said it welcomes the adoption of the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill [B1 – 2023] to amend section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, to make Sign Language the 12th official language.

“The inclusion of SASL as the 12th official language implies that for teaching and learning purposes, the language must be allocated equitable resources.

“This is to ensure that, as provided for in the Constitution, the playing field is levelled for every learner to be taught and assessed on equal footing,” Umalusi said.

The quality assurer said it has external moderators, whose task it is to quality assure the SASL Home Language (HL) question papers for the National Senior Certificate (NSC).

Umalusi started work in this area some years back to promote the rights of people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

In 2018, it published a research report titled “Sign of the Times: The Quality of the Teaching and Assessment of South African Sign Language”.

Umalusi said that the aim of the study was to provide guidance in terms of how to approach quality assurance of the SASL Home Language curriculum’s school-based assessment and examinations in Grade 12. The report is available on the Umalusi website: