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Translation Unit


The Translation Unit was established in Cape Town in 2008 with three Legislative Language Practitioners, appointed on contract basis, to translate legislation into three Nguni languages, viz. Siswati, IsiZulu, IsiXhosa.

In May 2010 the Translation Unit became a fully-fledged Unit which translates legislation into all the eleven official languages of South Africa. A Senior Legislative Language Practitioner was appointed in August 2010.

Todani Nodoba (Senior Legislative Language Practitioner)
Tel: +27 +21 441 4900
E-mail: TNodoba@justice.gov.za

It has become apparent from several engagements that the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser needs additional capacity to enhance its functioning. Additional Legislative Practitioners for each language will soon be needed to take charge of editorial and/or translating work.

The Unit stresses that they can only serve NATIONAL departments, and not provincial or local spheres of government, which has their own Language Practitioner units, due to manpower and workload limitations.


As part of promoting the use of all the Official languages in OCSLA, the Translation Unit promotes an office environment where the signage is in all the Official languages of the country.

The Translation Unit encourages the observance of days of significance that are relevant to the 11 Official languages such as Mother Tongue Day (21 Feb), Translation Day (30 Sept), Heritage Day (24 Sept) and Africa Day (25 May). This finds expression through communication in those languages as much as possible on such days as well as through dressing in attire related to that particular language / culture.

The Legislative Language Practitioners will also give lessons on the history, culture and languages of the 11 indigenous languages.


Communication with client departments is done in order to inform them about the progress of the translation(s) and the availability of languages. This will be done by the Senior Legislative Language Practitioner.

The Translation Unit in OCSLA translates Bills and Regulations for National Departments.