The George Council Chambers tested the brand new translation booth last week during the monthly council meeting. The interpreters are seated in the booth during council meetings to simultaneously translate between Afrikaans, English, and isiXhosa.
According to Cllr Jacqulique von Brandis, Portfolio Councillor for Corporate Services, council meetings in the past were delayed due to large parts of proceedings and debates requiring translation between Afrikaans, English, and isiXhosa after each speaker, which effectively doubled the time of meetings. The councillor and administration staff were involved in finding the best solution for the situation in the most efficient way. Council approved the request that a translation booth be implemented.
The booth is situated in the Council Chambers from where interpreters are translating proceedings directly and councillors have earphones plugged in at their desks to follow council as it proceeds. The booth was used for the first time in 25 July.
Mr Siphiwo James, Director of Corporate Services, said he is elated that the George Municipality can enhance service delivery through providing this service in the Council Chambers and furthermore more than 80 people from the public can view proceedings live in the George Municipality’s Conference hall on the ground floor in York Street through live streaming.
Photo: Standing in the booth itself, at the back from left Cllr Jacqulique von Brandis, Portfolio Councillor for Corporate Services, Alwyn Joseph, Manager: Auxiliary Services and Siphiwo James, Director: Corporate Services. In front are the interpreters, Nomawonga Appolis and Ntombosindiso Majova.