South African Translators Institute (SATI) believes that the establishment of a professional language practitioners council would go a long way in addressing the shortage of court interpreters in the country.
SATI’s chairperson, Ann-Marie Beukes, said the problem was that there were not enough credited interpreters and many among those available lacked proper training and skills.
She said her organisation had been pushing for the establishment of a professional council for language practitioners since 2003.
“A Bill that would see such council being put in place was published in 2003 but it has still not been taken to Parliament. Passing the bill would see the establishment of a statutory body to tackle the interests of language practitioners and therefore protect the public in that only certified interpreters can work in courts,” said Beukes.
The association’s current list has 386 members registered with it.
Beukes, also the Linguistic Studies head of department in the University of Johannesburg said the institution had received substantial funding from the Department of Arts and Culture in order to provide bursaries to students enrolling for BA Language Practice.