Language, Cultural and Communication Rights of Ethnic Minorities in South Africa

By Last Moyo - 2010

This article focuses on ethnic and linguistic minorities and radio broadcasting in South Africa. It examines the country’s language, cultural and broadcasting policies and their potential impact on the participation of ethnic minorities in radio broadcasting. In particular, special focus is given to community and public radio. The study is broadly theoretical and exploratory, and examines how such policies influenced institutional changes in broadcasting and the communication rights of ethnic minorities. The critique of policy is done within the broader context of international human rights law which the South African government has ratified. Some of these treaties clearly put an obligation on state parties to support the rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities. These obligations are not only discussed within a rights framework, but also the country’s specific social and historical context.

In The International Communication Gazette, Vol 72, Nos 4 & 5, June/August 2010.



Communication rights enable all people everywhere to express themselves individually and collectively by all means of communication. They are vital to full participation in society and are, therefore, universal human rights belonging to every man, woman, and child.


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