Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Saleshando wants other languages spoken on national TV and Radio

Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe West Gilson Saleshando has called for the introduction of other languages on national Radio and Television.

Saleshando says introducing such languages can enhance national unity and diversity.

Presenting a parliamentary motion on Friday Saleshando indicated the introduction of such languages was crucial in the development of the country.

“Giving a citizen information in his own language enhances unity in diversity and motivates citizens to participate meaningfully in the development of the country,” he said.

He added that national broadcasters play an important role of reaching out to the communities and creating a conducive environment in which true unity can be achieved.

“It is therefore critical to acknowledge diversity and begin to air news in various languages” the former opposition Botswana Congress Party president noted.

Setswana and English are currently the only official languages broadcast on both Radio Botswana and Botswana Television.

Saleshando denounced suggestions that introducing other languages could sow seeds of rebellion or tribalism, insisting multilingualism was ideal to cherish and enhance ideals of equality and human dignity.

“Giving pre-eminence over any other language distorts the principle of indivisibility and interdependence,” Saleshando cautioned.
Apart from promoting democracy and national building goals, National broadcasters also reflect the nation’s social linguistic reality.

Saleshando notes the introduction of other languages on National broadcasters dovetails well with country’s Vision which promotes tolerance and a united and proud nation.

“No citizen of future Botswana will be disadvantaged as a result of gender, age, language,” Saleshando quoting from the country’s Vision 2016.

“The country will still possess a diverse mix of cultures, languages and traditions and peoples sharing a common destiny. We will preserve all of that diversity. By 2016 Botswana will have become a regional leader in the production and dissemination of information.”

He cited the new South Africa whose SABC broadcast has 18 stations including a 24hour service in each of the country’s 11 official languages and on 3 national television channels in just 20 years of independence.

“Due to capacity constraints, SABC adopted equitability principle rather than equality. SABC is managed to promote cultures, languages and identity which are intensively integrated,” Saleshando.

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