The KwaZulu-Natal government will include isiXhosa, one of the most-spoken languages in the province, as one of the languages to be used in official documents.
Zulu, English and Afrikaans once topped the list of the most-spoken languages in the province but the most recentcensus showed that more people now speak isiXhosa in KwaZulu-Natal than Afrikaans.
The adoption of isiXhosa as an official language was confirmed by the province's MEC for arts and culture, Weziwe Thusi, at the launching of the isiZulu Language Research and Development Centre at the University of Zululandduring the celebration of International Mother Language Day on Wednesday.
"The KwaZulu-Natal language policy is aimed at promoting the equitable use of language.
"This does not mean that any of the languages is less important [than another]. Iit simply means that isiXhosa must be included on the list so that our isiXhosa speakers can have access to government services, knowledge and information in the language they understand," Thusi said.
Nomso Mgijima, chief director of language services in the national Department of Arts and Culture, said that unless people who spoke African languages realised the importance of using them, the status of their language would not improve.