The goals of the language policy of the Department of Basic Education are to:
The policy addresses two aspects: language as a subject, and the language of learning and teaching.
Individual rights in relation to language are protected as follows:
education department must make copies of the request available to all schools in the relevant school district. The language policy states that it should be possible to provide education in a particular language of learning and teaching if at least 40 learners in Grades 1 to 6 or 35 learners in Grades 7 to 12 in a particular Grade request it in a particular school.
The governing body of the school must say how the school will promote multi- lingualism (different languages) in the school. This might include having more than one language of learning and teaching, offering additional language subjects, or other language programmes.
In 2015 the Gauteng High Court found that the SGBs determine language and that the department cannot force it to change in a particular school if the SGB opposes it. This judgment is being used by some schools to keep their schools Afrikaans, even when they have space for many more learners, and the department is prepared to pay for more teachers to create a dual medium school. Gauteng government will take the matter to the Constitutional Court for a final decision.