The utility of written isiZulu in the banks located in the INK region: a language planning evaluation study.
Bolofo, Mongezi Christopher.
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The banks have established language policies that aim to elevate the status of official indigenous languages to the level of English. This study evaluates the implementation of the language policy planning in the banking sector to determine its impact in elevating the status of isiZulu. Research was conducted in the five bank branches i.e. Nedbank, Capitec, Absa, Standard Bank and FNB servicing Inanda, KwaMashu and Ntuzuma Townships (referred herein as INK region). This study brings a new dynamic of using written isiZulu language as a measurement of the efficacy of language policies in the elevation of status of isiZulu, making language policy evaluation practical and measurable. Using a triangulation research method, survey was conducted whereby a questionnaire was administered to the clientele and employees of the five bank branches. Semi-structured interviews with bank managers were held. In addition, participation-observation was undertaken to determine how much of isiZulu is used in its written form in the said branches. The findings indicated that though the five banks supports multilingualism in their language policies and declare isiZulu as one of their official languages, this undertaking is not supported by tangible written products in isiZulu. The digital platforms are also not available in isiZulu. The study concluded that the language policies have not ;/increased the use of written isiZulu in the banks and therefore isiZulu has not achieved parity of esteem with English. The study recommends focused evaluation through bodies tasked to regulate the banking sector and further research on digital inclusion of official indigenous language, as well as the development of new policies in line with digitization.