Media Invite

Telephone Interpreting Service of South Africa (TISSA) Launch


11 March 2002


Members of the Media are invited to attend the launch for Telephone Interpreting Service of South Africa. (TISSA)

TISSA is a ground-breaking project to facilitate access to public services in South African citizens' languages of choice. In this project interpreters will be used to bridge language barriers via a telephone. It is the first project of its kind for South Africa.

With TISSA the Department is on par with international standards of well-known telephone interpreting services in other multilingual countries such as Australia, and also in the USA and many other European countries.

While these services are aimed at the language needs of immigrants, TISSA will cater for the needs of the speakers of the 11 official languages of our country, thus promoting the use of our indigenous languages.

Many South Africans experience problems when accessing public services in, among others, hospitals and police stations. In these situations matters of life and death are often complicated owing to the service provider and client not being able to communicate.

The system will be designed in such a way that when a member of the public and a public service official, for example a police officer, cannot understand each other's language, a professional telephone interpreter will mediate between them, via a call centre.

The pilot Telephone Interpreting Service for South Africa (TISSA) is a project of the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) and is jointly funded by the Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB).

The Minister of Arts, Culture Science and Technology, Dr BS Ngubane, will launch TISSA to mark the beginning of an ongoing project.

Venue:   Katlehong Police Station, 844 Mosue St, Rammokonope West, Katlehong
Time:   12:30 p.m.
Date:   15 March 2002

Issued by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology.

For more information please contact

Mr Mack Lewele at 012-337 8173/ 8477 cell 082 450 5076 or

Sane Khuzwayo 012-337 8404/ 8497 cell 083 546 1233