As the country prepares to distribute its first consignment of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) has called for information to be made available in all official languages.

“Never has the importance of the use of language been more pertinent than it is right now during the pandemic. Therefore, it is particularly critical that information on the vaccine be made available in all our official languages to ensure that our people are equipped to make informed decisions.

“This can be achieved by ensuring that such information is available in languages that people understand,” said PanSALB Acting Chief Executive Officer, Nikiwe Matebula.

Matebula emphasised that the promotion and preservation of languages must be a collective effort.

“We therefore call upon government to heed this call and all South Africans to support the Language Activism Month campaign through various means available at their disposal, such as the support of African writers and the use of mother tongue,” Matebula said.

PanSALB’s call coincides with the Language Activism Month campaign, which is celebrated annually during February, in commemoration of the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) held annually on 21 February.

Various activities aimed at the promotion of the use of mother tongue will be conducted by PanSALB virtually throughout the month.

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