He said that 70 years ago, Afrikaans was in “exactly the same position” indigenous languages now found themselves in. We can make the resources and people available to make sure that in another 30 or 40 years every single African language could be used – if we wanted to – to make an atomic bomb,” he said to enthusiastic applause.
Dana was taken to the Small Claims Court by Godknows Kandira of Chedgo Construction.
In his application, he claimed the Nzima singer never paid him for the renovations done to her home in Orange Grove, Joburg .
Committee chairwoman Thandile Sunduza (ANC) said her dissertation would have been accepted at university if she had been able to write it in her mother tongue, Xhosa.
An impassioned plea for the introduction of mother-tongue education was made by singer Simphiwe Dana, who said it was grossly unfair for children to have to learn in a “foreign language”.
“Even the new identity documents are being issued in English.
We carry proof of our identity in a language that is the mother tongue of less than 8 percent of the population.” Bailey also decried that one could easily book a flight in several languages, but could not register the birth of a child in one’s own language.
Academic and political philosopher Neville Alexander warned that “we must not make the language question confrontational”, as language had the power to divide and reconcile people.
“If we learn one another’s languages, and if our children learn these languages – we can save this country from some of the worst things we have seen (happening) north of the Limpopo River.” Alexander warned against seeing Afrikaans as “the language of the white man”, whereas most Afrikaans speakers were Africans.
Behind her is Prof Koos Malan from the Dept of Public Law at the University of Pretoria, who addressed the Committee on behalf of the Society of Lawers for Afrikaans. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams The language policy is holding children back.
This view emerged on Tuesday when MPs and members of the public met in Cape Town to discuss the SA Languages Bill, now before the National Assembly’s arts and culture committee.
The draft was criticised by representatives of linguistic, cultural and academic organisations who said it fell far short of the government’s constitutional obligation to “take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of (indigenous languages)” and to ensure the 11 official languages enjoyed “parity of esteem” and were “treated equitably”.