15 February 2010
WYG International is supporting good governance initiatives in South Africa by expanding and strengthening community-based participation in local government through a €570,000 language translation project.
The Republic of South Africa has 11 official languages, reflecting the diversity of its population.
WYG International Director for South Africa, Keith Cook, said: “This project is a welcomed step forward in bringing clarity and transparency to local government documents in South Africa, which will benefit local communities greatly.”
Funded by the European Commission through the Development Cooperation Instrument, this four-month programme is designed to give all citizens access to information in their own languages, which is a fundamental aspect of participatory democracy. The project will provide accurate translations of key government documents from English into 10 other South African official languages: Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, SiSwati, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Tshivenda, Xitsonga.
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and key legislation provide a framework for participatory local democracy through ward committees, which were introduced as a way of providing an opportunity for communities to be heard at the local government level in a structured and institutionalised way. By being representative of their communities, they are part of a system of democratic government and developmental local government which is rooted among the people.
The multi-lingual translation project is being led and managed by WYG International in partnership with Multi-lingua.