South African sworn translators and interpreters are admitted and enrolled in terms of rule 59 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of South Africa; Supreme Court of Bophuthatswana Act, 1982 (Act 32 of 1982) (former Republic of Bophuthatswana); and Supreme Court Decree 43 of 1990.


Rule 59 provides as follows:

Any person may be admitted and enrolled by any division of the Supreme Court as a sworn translator between any two or more specified official languages of the Republic of South Africa or between any specified official language of the Republic of South Africa and any specified foreign language, upon satisfying the court of his or her competency.

No person shall be admitted and enrolled as a sworn translator unless his or her competency in the languages from and into which he or she intends to translate has been duly certified in writing, after examination, held not more than six months before the date of his application by an appropriately qualified sworn translator, or unless his or her competency is otherwise proved to the satisfaction of the court.

Every sworn translator duly admitted and enrolled shall, to the extent of such admission and enrolment, be deemed to be a sworn translator for all divisions of the Supreme Court, and the registrar of the division in which he is admitted shall notify the registrars of all other divisions of such admission and enrolment and furnish his address.”

Applicants cannot apply directly to the Courts for certification as sworn translators; instead they must contact a senior practicing sworn translator for assistance

In case of further questions or if you need assistance registering as a sworn translator in South Africa, please contact [email protected]


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