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The use of African languages as an economic resource : the case of IsiZulu in the region of KZN.

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This research's aim was to try and bring language awareness to the citizens of this country hence economic matters are exclusive. One broad area of interest that overwhelmed me and formed the basis of this research was the challenge that asks, “What economic benefit do the African languages have for the citizens of this country?”. I have identified Proudly South African companies around Durban such as Unilever Pty (Ltd), Nestle, Telkom SA. as research sites. These companies were chosen precisely because some of their products and services are Proudly South African. Above all, their brands are commonly used by consumers and customers in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the rest of SA and internationally. This research has also used the citizens of Durban and greater Metropolitan areas such as, Umlazi, Sobantu, EMpangeni, Student residences, hostels. etc as a secondary data. Self completion questionnaires were used in this study. Internet interview survey was employed. Key results of the study proved that almost 76% of the language communication in workplaces is done in English. As well as 72% of the respondents prefer to speak English with their superiors. However, the results also indicate that 95% of the participants do support local companies which is a good sign to local business communities. And above all, more than 80% of participants are pronouncing to be Proudly South Africans. And the Proudly South African concept to most of the participants means; “Home-brew, Original Products from „emzansi‟, Black and proud”. This concludes therefore, the core hypothesis of this study which ask, ”Can isiZulu be the economic resource of this region?” the majority of 95% of the respondents agree that isiZulu can be the economic resource for this region. Although language seems to be a barrier to some extent, this piece of work has proved positive results that can be manipulated.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2010.


Language surveys--South Africa., South Africa--languages., Theses--IsiZulu.