WESTERN CAPE: The DA has sourced out a petition demanding that Afrikaans should be made equal with English at Stellenbosch University (SU).
The Democratic Alliance (DA) slammed the 2016 language policy changes at SU, where students of the university demanded that English should be the primary language of communication and learning during lectures.
On Monday afternoon the party submitted a petition to Parliament on claims that the policy infringe Afrikaans speaking students their rights to ‘11 official languages’ as incorporated in the South African Constitution.
“For the first time in nearly 100 years, SU’s 2016 language policy abolished Afrikaans as a primary and equal language of instruction and student life at the university,”
“With English that practically became the only primary language for all activities at SU, SU abolished Afrikaans as a primary and equal language alongside English despite the fact that the university has the ability to provide teaching in AFRIKAANS,” says the party.
DA has rejected the first draft of the new March 2021 language policy, the party said the draft of the new policy is rejected because it will result in the further exclusion of Afrikaans students.
It also suggests that a public conference should be held in order to engage on the matter.
“The first draft of the new policy is rejected because it will result in the further exclusion of Afrikaans students at SU, the SU must restart the review process by immediately arranging a public conference where all stakeholders and members of the public will have an opportunity to discuss the shortcomings of the 2016 language Policy with the aim of creating a new policy that guarantees an equal place to Afrikaans,”
“The new language policy must create a fair language dispensation that grants absolutely equal status to Afrikaans and English as primary languages of teaching and student life in all the spaces including online spaces of the University,” said the DA.
It further stated that, if the university is concerned about the costs involved in this, the SU must commission a comprehensive and independent audit to ascertain how much it would cost to guarantee equal status to Afrikaans and English.
“It must make the findings of such an audit public and provide donors, the private sector and the community that opportunity to help fundraise to cover the costs,” said the party.