The DA has long argued that previously marginalized indigenous SA languages need to be developed to their full potential, but this does not require the Afrikaans, Khoi and San languages to be classified “as ‘alien’ or otherwise eroded”.< /p>
The party made the remarks on Wednesday after receiving a report containing the opinion of Minister for Higher Education Blade Nzimande, who stated that the Afrikaans, Khoi and San languages are native to South Africa .
It described this statement as a historic victory for the protection and promotion of the cultural and linguistic diversity of SA in general, and for speakers of Afrikaans, Khoi and San languages in particular.
The DA has been seeking to force the national government to recognize the indigenous status of the Afrikaans, Khoi and San languages, Nzimande said on October 11, 2021 that the legal opinion was obtained document m with him on Tuesday.
The statement was prepared following questions from DA MP Leon Schreiber.
In view of the latest language policy framework published by the department on October 30, 2020 for Universities asked why Afrikaans and all Khoi and San languages were excluded from the definition of “indigenous” languages.
In response, Nzimande had said that the definition of an indigenous language in the political framework was only to to highlight the historical marginalization of African languages as such, a result of the legacy of colonial times and apartheid and the need to develop these languages for scholarly purposes.
Nzimande said the definition of “native” includes the Khoi language family . Nzimande said the policy does not imply that Afrikaans must be removed and not further developed, but to ensure that all previously marginalized languages enjoy equal esteem.
The legal opinion, prepared by two Tshwane lawyers, states that Afrikaans is excluded in the language policy as an indigenous language contradicted the Constitutional Court’s consideration of Afrikaans as an indigenous language.
The opinion agreed with Nzimande that the language policy includes the Khoi language family as an indigenous language that it was indigenous and spoken by indigenous peoples.
“We urge the (department) to consider changing its definition of indigenous languages, taking into account that the purpose of the policy is to address previously marginalized to develop African languages as mandated by the Constitution,” the statement said.
The Opinion suggested that the term “previously marginalized indigenous languages” was appropriate as it also avoids any unnecessary conflict with the departments’ other language policies.
“We have long argued that it is vitally important is that previously marginalized indigenous SA languages need to be developed to their full potential – but that this does not require Afrikaans, Khoi and San languages are classified as ‘foreign’ or otherwise eroded,” said Schreiber.
Schreiber said the implications of this DA victory are historic for the future of these languages.
Schreiber said once these changes are made in the policy framework, Afrikaans, Khoi and San cannot legally be de-resourced, allocated to the development and promotion of indigenous SA languages, including in SA’s universities.
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