Original Research

Using Setswana in business transactions in the clothing industry at the West Rand District Municipality in Gauteng

Solomon T. Macucwa, Thabo Ditsele, Mary M. Makgato
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 16, No 1 | a856 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v16i1.856 | © 2020 Solomon T. Macucwa, Thabo Ditsele, Mary M. Makgato | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 March 2020 | Published: 24 November 2020

About the author(s)

Solomon T. Macucwa, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Thabo Ditsele, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Mary M. Makgato, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

According to Census 2011, the three languages with the highest number of first language (L1) speakers in the West Rand District Municipality in Gauteng are Setswana (27.3%), Afrikaans (16.9%) and isiXhosa (14.9%). This district municipality comprises the following three local municipalities: Mogale City (including Krugersdorp); Rand West City (including Randfontein) and Merafong City (including Carletonville). Setswana has more L1 speakers in two out of the three local municipalities, namely Mogale City (31.7%) and Rand West City (24.3%). In Merafong City, Setswana has the second highest percentage of L1 speakers at 21.4%, the highest being isiXhosa at 24.9%. While this district municipality does not have a majority language, Setswana is the most spoken among its black residents. The objective of this article was to analyse how Setswana is used in business interactions at clothing stores in the West Rand District Municipality. A qualitative approach (through interviews and participant observation) was used to gather data at clothing stores in Krugersdorp, Randfontein and Carletonville. Customers preferred to be addressed in Setswana by salespersons at clothing stores, but they conceded that the language lacks adequate terminologies to be used effectively in this industry.

Keywords

Setswana; business language; communication patterns; district municipality; Gauteng; South Africa.

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