Language policy implementation in South African universities vis-a-vis the speakers of indigenous African languages' perception

  • Davie Elias Mutasa University of South Africa
Keywords: African languages, language policy, universities, education, policy implementation


After the demise of apartheid in 1994, South Africa adopted a new constitution that bolstered the image of indigenous African languages through a multilingual language policy scenario. Indigenous African languages were further boosted by the National Language-in-Education Policy Acts that were propounded subsequent to the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in 1996 and the Languages Bill that was promulgated in November 2012 (Mutasa, 2014). Given these developments, one would have hoped for changes in terms of perceptions and language use in universities where the traces of the vestiges of the colonial legacy were still apparent. The aim of this article is to highlight the extent to which the language choices of universities and perceptions of academics and students impact on the process of implementing the multilingual language policies in universities.

Author Biography

Davie Elias Mutasa, University of South Africa
Davie Mutasa is a professor in the Department of African Languages at the University of South Africa responsible for Shona. He has published on the Shona language and language planning. He has presented papers in Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Holland, Jamaica, Australia, Malaysia, the USA, Hawaii, China and Norway. He has supervised more than thirty postgraduate students. He was invited by the former Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor, to address the department and serve as one of the advisors on language policy. He featured on radio discussing language matters and has creative works in the form of three Shona novels.