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The South African Revenue Services (SARS) will hand over its new multilingual booklets to Nelson Mandela University, as part of the final leg of its efforts to popularise its tax terms in previously marginalised languages.

The national revenue services body will be handing over their new multilingual booklets to University on Friday, 28 October 2022.

SARS identified that there was a gap in terms of the languages that their services were offered in. They have now included all official languages and created 450 new terms in their multilingual tax terminology list.

These terms come from the SARS collateral and glossary. This means that people who only speak previously marginalised languages will be able to properly communicate their needs and have actual terminology that is understood by SARS staff.

“There are various language stakeholders, who have requested both the soft and hard copies of the multilingual list. We have managed to send most of them a link, however, there is still a need to physically deliver these booklets to various language stakeholders as guided by PanSALB, in different provinces. These vary from government institutions, tertiary institutions with language departments, entities, etc,” SARS Senior Manager Communication and Media Mr Vusi Ntlakana said.

This is a big step by SARS as many South Africans who only speak indigenous languages can sometimes feel excluded when they come to government agencies, having to communicate what they need in English. This helps to avoid things being lost in translation or not being addressed as many do not have the vocabulary to voice these terms in English.

“This exercise enables the Language Services Unit (LSU) to interact with the relevant stakeholders, build partnerships and get the relevant feedback on the coined terms and their usage. This will hopefully result in the improvement of the product, whilst enhancing the reputation of SARS amongst them, on the issue of advancing multilingualism,” says Mr Ntlakana.

“The handovers will be documented in a report, and some of the stories will be covered in our internal newsletter eNews, to keep the SARS staff abreast of the developments.”

This process was started and registered with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture in 2016. The verification and authentication processes were completed by the end of 2021, and was launched officially by the Commissioner in March 2022.

The final stage of the process will now be popularising the terms amongst the people who will be using them and engagement with stakeholders for feedback to improve the products.

The handover takes place at the University’s Faculty of Law Boardroom, in the Embizweni Building on South Campus at 10:00 to 11:00. The multilingual booklets will be received by Nelson Mandela University’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl Foxcroft, Acting Dean of Humanities Dr Jacqueline Lück and Language, Media and Communication School Director Prof Marius Crous.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777