This article is from the South Africa FAQ, by Scott Hazelhurst firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
The South African constitution recognises the following as
official languages at the national level: Afrikaans, English,
isiNdebele, SeSotho sa Leboa, SeSotho, siSwati, Xitsonga, Setswana,
Tshivenda, isiXhosa and IsiZulu.
Provincial legislatures may declare one or more of these languages as
official provincial languages.
A Pan South African Language Board is constituted by the constitution
to make recommedations about language policy to promote these
languages. The language board is also responsible for promoting
"respect for, and the development of German, Greek, Gujerati, Hindi,
Portuguese, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu and other languages used by
communities in South Africa, as well as Arabic, Hebrew and Sanskrit
and other languages used for religious purposes."
The table below gives (in million and %) the number of people who
speak each language as their home language.
Million % Zulu 8.54 21 Xhosa 6.89 17 Afrikaans 6.19 16 Tswana 3.6 9 North Sotho 3.44 9 English 3.42 9 South Sotho 2.652 7 Tsonga 1.35 3 Swazi .926 2 Ndebele .799 Venda .763 Other .942
Home language (alphabetical order): Afrikaans 15.1 % English 9.1 Afr/Enf 0.2 isiNdebele 1.5 isiXhosa 17.5 isiZulu 22.4 Sepedi 9.8 Sesotho 6.9 Setswana 7.2 siSwati 2.6 Tsivenda 1.7 Xitsonga 4.2 Ander 1.8