POLITICS

BELA Bill: Government breaches 1994 settlement – Civil Organisations

Chante Kelder |

06 June 2022

AfriForum and other stakeholders say planned amendments to the Schools Act, targeting Afrikaans schools are unconstitutional

Government breaches 1994 settlement with planned amendments to the Schools Act, targeting Afrikaans schools

6 June 2022

This is a public statement from stakeholder parties striving for sustainable Afrikaans education in public schools. It is addressed to Minister Angie Motshekga, as the political Head of the Department of Basic Education as a party to the amendment bill.

We declare as follows:

1. A promise that language and culture would be protected in the new dispensation was made as part of the constitutional settlement in 1994. This would include tolerance and space for the preservation and development of Afrikaans and other indigenous languages. The preservation of Afrikaans as academic and scientific language was presented as an asset in this settlement, along with the development of other

indigenous languages. It is also entrenched in section 6 of the Constitution.

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2. During the 28 years of ANC government, no serious effort has been made to give effect to this constitutional mandate to retain and develop Afrikaans as an academic and scientific language, or to develop other indigenous languages in addition to Afrikaans.

3. Some of the proposed amendments to the Schools Act are a calculated attack on Afrikaans education and its speakers as a language community across the country.

Afrikaans is the third most spoken language in the country with more than seven million mother tongue speakers, most of whom come from the brown community. It will, through bureaucratic and ideological decisions, deprive current Afrikaans speakers of their constitutional right to education in a language of their choice. It will also constitute an irreparable and permanent breach by the government of the constitutional

settlement reached in 1994.