Deaf in South Africa





Largest Religion


Patrick Speaks

Introduction / History

Some Deaf South Africans live in middle and upper-middle-class areas of large cities and small towns. Others maintain rural ancestral lands. Many families live in poorer townships. Most Deaf people live on social grants without jobs, either among their families or in disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The Deaf are quite patient with hearing people however most of them don't know any way to communicate and tend to avoid them.

A few have more education, therefore better jobs. Deaf people don't see themselves as disabled, but communicate directly and literally with Sign Language's unique structure. Only now does the national Education Department realize that the Deaf need to learn South African Sign Language to achieve more.

The first Catholic Deaf school opened about 170 years ago. But there are very few yet today who follow Christ.

The Deaf generally socialize within their Deaf culture and language group and also with other dialects. Five aspects of any Sign Language include: hand shape, position in space, palm orientation, movement and expression. Sign dialects vary, with some aspects overlapping.

The few believers can't easily grow in faith, since they don't understand written Bibles. Perhaps 60-80 percent of Deaf people follow traditional African religious practices. About 1 to 3 percent are Muslim. Because a lack of accessible education creates low reading skills, the Deaf need Bibles their hearts can understand, which is South African Sign Language.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Deaf
People Name in Country Deaf
Population in South Africa 0
World Population Unknown
Countries 216
Progress Scale 2.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Deaf
People Cluster Deaf
People Name General Deaf
Ethnic Code
People ID 19007

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
South African Sign Language
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
South African Sign Language
For Primary Language: South African Sign Language

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Door International Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Independent

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.90 %)
75.00 %
Ethnic Religions
14.00 %
1.00 %
2.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
8.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
4.0 %
53.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
15.0 %
20.0 %
Roman Catholic
8.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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