DAK Netwerk language submission: A petition to the Minister of Higher Education

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Danie van Wyk (photo: provided)

Danie van Wyk, Executive Chairperson on behalf of DAK Netwerk, shares the full petition of the DAK Netwerk to the Minister of Higher Education with LitNet.

DAK Netwerk Language Submission

  1. Introduction

As already stated in our covering letter, DAK Netwerk (hereafter DAK) was founded on historical, ideological, politico-economic and cultural grounds. The acronym DAK, when unpacked, represents the first letter of the first name of our three reputed Khoi leaders Doman, Autshumao and Krotoa. DAK was launched in September 2017, with the primary aim of establishing a structural basis for the upliftment, empowerment and development of previously disadvantaged Afrikaans-speaking communities.

We function within the ambit of the following core principles: Respect, Equality and Integrity. The three pillars on which we are grounded are Identity, Socio-economic challenges and Economic empowerment. DAK strives to be a meaningful role player in enhancing our democracy and contributing towards making nation-building the flagship project of our beloved country.

Considering the aforementioned, we therefore deem it our democratic as well as our constitutional right to table this submission. We do it humbly, duly mandated by our constituency and members. We have no hidden or ulterior agendas or motives. Neither do we act in accordance with or according to the prescripts of any individual, grouping, institution or educational forum such as a university or any other tertiary institution.

This submission’s primary aim is to contest a particular stipulation entrenched in your Department's Language Policy Framework for Higher Education, in which Afrikaans is stripped of its status as an indigenous language. In addition to this contestation, we are objecting to the fact that no clear definition of indigenous is offered in your framework.

Reference is made only to the fact that languages rooted in Africa, and specifically the South Bantu (your own wording), are regarded as indigenous languages. Afrikaans is not only a South African language but spans Southern Africa. It is an authentic language of the continent of Africa.

Stemming from this controversial, contradictory and blurred exposition of where Afrikaans stands in regard to its indigenous status, a whole array of fallacies, misconceptions, misinterpretations and stereotypes about Afrikaans are the order of the day. This phenomenon will be discussed in a later section of this submission.

  1. History and the evolution and development of Afrikaans

(to emphasise that Afrikaans is an indigenous language)

By all accounts the people representing DAK are direct and indirect descendants of the First Nations, the Foundation Nations, of our land – and even of the continent of Africa. We were here – by all accounts long before a long, long time ago.

We further believe a snap peep into history may be relevant to underpin our submission.

The San tribe has been living in Southern Africa for at least 30 000 years and they are believed to be not only the oldest African tribe, but quite possibly the world's most ancient humans. The San have the most diverse and distinct DNA of any indigenous African group.

The first inhabitants of South Africa were the San and the Khoekhoe. The San and Khoe descended from early Stone Age people and migrated from their birthplace in East Africa down to the Cape.

Historians agree to a large extent that the San are the oldest of the Foundation Nations of Africa, followed by the Nama of Southern Africa, the Hadza of Tanzania, the African Pygmies of Central Africa, the Sandawe of Eastern Africa, and the Berbers of North Africa.

For the record: The Berbers speak Berber; the Sandawe speak Sandawe, the Hadza speak Hadza, the Nama speak Nama and Afrikaans, and the remaining 90 000 San speak all languages of the Khoe, Kx’a and Tuu language families – and also Afrikaans.

The Afrikaans language was formally called Cape Dutch, and a West Germanic language of South Africa. This language developed from 17th-century Dutch, sometimes called Netherlandic, among the descendants of European (Dutch, German, and French) colonists, indigenous Khoisan peoples, and African and Asian slaves in the Cape of Good Hope, right here in South Africa.

Afrikaans developed and grew here at the foot of Africa. It is a Southern African language of distinction.


Afrikaans developed and grew here at the foot of Africa. It is a Southern African language of distinction.


It was spoken by the slaves and peasants of the Cape, the urban proletariat, whatever their ethnic background, and even the middle class of civil servants, traders, and teachers.

Afrikaans had to withstand several serious attacks on its existence over the past two centuries, yet it developed from a language spoken by the people of this land, often behind cupped hands, in the kitchen and on the farms, into a highly cultured, internationally aligned, academically vibrant, and scientifically based language. Today Afrikaans cannot be denied its powerful status and standing as a language of trade, culture and education.

Currently Afrikaans is spoken by 7,2 million people across our nation, and numbers are increasing. Some Afrikaans speakers are white, some are brown, some are black. Some Afrikaans speakers are highly qualified intellectuals, professionals and community leaders, while some are less educated, manual workers, office workers and students. It is the language of the rich and the poor, the old and the young, the language of both urban and rural people.

Only about four out of every ten Afrikaans speakers are racially white, and the language has developed a multitude of variants, including Orange River Afrikaans, Eastern Cape Afrikaans, Namakwa-Afrikaans and Afrikaaps. The language is spoken throughout South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and the rest of the sub-continent.

As Afrikaans was developed here at the foot of Africa, it is a Southern African language of distinction, the only language in Africa that reflects the name of our continent, and it can in no way be denied its rightful place as a language of the soil.

If the question arises whether Afrikaans is an indigenous language, anyone entering this debate or who drafts a policy, or attempts to regulate, or systematise its position, first needs to familiarise him-/herself with the historical facts of what gave birth to this widely spoken and studied language.

One cannot simply wake up one morning and declare that Afrikaans is not an indigenous African language. By doing that, one minimises the relevance of a language, the mother tongue of millions.

It will be no less than criminal to deny even one student the right to be educated and assessed, and acquire a qualification, in his/her language of preference.

Institutions of higher learning throughout the world generally work with the top 5% of intellectually astute young people. They are the gifted. Under no circumstances can it be allowed that these brilliant students fall through the net just because, for some weird reason, it has been decided to eliminate a particular language – in this instance, Afrikaans – from their options.

Should an argument be advanced that Afrikaans-speaking students should be denied their preferred language of instruction, based on the erroneous pronouncement that Afrikaans is not an indigenous African language, then the least that should be determined is what the definition of an indigenous language is.

It is common knowledge that an indigenous language is defined as

a language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous people of the same cultural value and belief.

It is further defined as

a local means of communication between members of a people or community. It contains within it the essence of considerable information and knowledge and wisdom of the people or community. Its loss is therefore a loss of IKI, which is Indigenous Knowledge Intelligence.

An indigenous language is also

the language that is native to a particular group of people and spoken by the indigenous people living in the locality.

Lastly, an indigenous language is a language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous people, often reduced to the status of a minority language. This language would be from a linguistically distinct community that has been settled in the area for many generations.

Afrikaans passes the acid test embodied in the above characterisation with flying colours.

It is indeed a language that is native to a particular region and spoken by indigenous people of the same cultural value and belief. It is indeed a local means of communication between its members, the Afrikaans speakers as a community.

Afrikaans contains within it the essence of considerable information, knowledge and wisdom of a people and community. Indeed, its loss would therefore also entail a loss of indigenous knowledge intelligence.

Afrikaans is a purely South African indigenous language, native to a particular group of people, spoken in the sub-continent. Should the debate attempt to reduce Afrikaans to the status of a minority language, it should be clearly observed that this language unquestionably originates from a linguistically distinct community that has been settled in this land for many generations.

There are 7 139 languages spoken in the world. Although indigenous peoples make up less than 6% of the global population, they speak more than 4 000 of the world’s languages. These indigenous languages are spoken by communities who make considerable contributions to dynamic living in a rapidly changing world – as do the Afrikaans-speaking inhabitants of South Africa.

Other examples are Quechua, spoken in Peru, and Aymara, spoken in Bolivia – this, where Spanish is the dominant formal language. In Greenland Kalaallisut, an indigenous language, even gained status as the only official language in 2009.


It is generally accepted that a land gives birth to an indigenous language. South Africa, beyond a shadow of a doubt, gave birth to Afrikaans. The First Nation peoples and the slaves from the East created Afrikaans – obviously influenced by the words and phrases they also learned from the Europeans with whom they interacted.


It is generally accepted that a land gives birth to an indigenous language. South Africa, beyond a shadow of a doubt, gave birth to Afrikaans. The First Nation peoples and the slaves from the East created Afrikaans – obviously influenced by the words and phrases they also learned from the Europeans with whom they interacted.

However, about 140 years ago white Afrikaans speakers wrongfully claimed Afrikaans as their language and in 1925 it was declared an official language of South Africa. Almost a 100 years later we as descendants of the Khoi and the San are being denied the right to mother-tongue education. We have grown up in our mother tongue, Afrikaans, and have struggled to gain an education in Afrikaans. We are now taking up this spear to fight for our children and our children’s children who are Afrikaans speaking and who want to study in Afrikaans.

DAK believes that the human rights of the Afrikaans-speaking community have been infringed by the language policy of the Department of Higher Education as it deems Afrikaans not to be an indigenous language and thus not worthy of being a language of instruction.

Our plea is that the Department of Higher Education should simply review and rescind their language policy and rid it of any discrimination, in particular in so far as Afrikaans as a language of instruction and accessibility of learning material are concerned.

DAK pleads speedy corrective measures be applied by the Department of Higher Education and to inform the South African public. Finally, DAK is ready, equipped and able to make itself available to assist in whichever form or format possible to correct the wrongs of the immediate past with regard to this unacceptable language policy of the Department of Higher Education

  1. Constitutional arguments and tenets

As per the status quo regarding the status, relevance, roles, functions and legitimacy of South African languages we need to revisit the Constitution, Act 108 of 1996 of the Republic of South Africa.

Chapter 1 of the Constitution, under Founding Provisions, Sub-section Languages, nr 6 (6.1), states clearly that the official languages of the RSA are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Under 6(5) the Pan South African Language Board is given a distinct mandate to promote ALL official languages and under (2) the Khoi, Nama and San languages.

Furthermore, and in addition to these, the rightful official as well as indigenous status of Afrikaans was negotiated at Codesa and it sits comfortably alongside other South African languages and cultures in a diverse democratic South Africa.

Language rights and the right to converse in the language of one's choice are also enshrined in the Constitution, Chapter 2 under Bill of Rights: Sub-section Language (30) as well as Sub-section Cultural, Religious and Linguistic communities. See also (31) Language and Culture, which states that everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice, but no one exercising these rights may do so in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.

  1. Current status

For Afrikaans, surviving Codesa, only eventually to lose its status as a language of higher learning, is totally and utterly unacceptable. Today, we find Afrikaans being subtly and bluntly marginalised, negated and ostracised.

We refuse to let our language fall victim to unsubstantiated and irrelevant arguments.


Why should we be accommodated? Ours is a right, not a privilege from well-meaning and good-willing people. We refuse to be treated as second-class citizens in our country of our birth, to be refused to have our mother tongue subjected to the recognition and mercies of others.


Why should we be accommodated? Ours is a right, not a privilege from well-meaning and good-willing people. We refuse to be treated as second-class citizens in our country of our birth, to be refused to have our mother tongue subjected to the recognition and mercies of others.

4.1 Fiction and fact

Let us right here and now dispel the myth of Afrikaans as being the “language of the Oppressor”, as that is fiction.

Afrikaans was labelled “the language of the oppressor”. The slogan was rightly an emotive, visceral response to Afrikaner ethnic, nationalist hegemony and its concomitant coercive state power. However, it also obscured the experiences, lives and histories of black and non-nationalist Afrikaans speakers.


Afrikaans was labelled “the language of the oppressor”. The slogan was rightly an emotive, visceral response to Afrikaner ethnic, nationalist hegemony and its concomitant coercive state power. However, it also obscured the experiences, lives and histories of black and non-nationalist Afrikaans speakers.


Many South Africans of every hue have contributed to the language's formation and development. Afrikaans also has a “black” history rather than just the known hegemonic apartheid history inculcated by white Afrikaner Christian National Education, propaganda, and the media.

Fact:  If any significant number of white Afrikaans-speaking people were fighting to keep the racist system and apartheid regime surviving, a far greater number of Afrikaans-speaking whites and blacks – among the 80% victims of apartheid – were leading the fight against apartheid and racism at community, regional and national level. From townships to the cities and Bantustans, people fought apartheid in Afrikaans, people died in Afrikaans, people were detained without trial in Afrikaans, young people in the forefront of the struggle were denied a free and carefree childhood in Afrikaans! The leadership of the UDF, Sacos, SACC and UWC were Afrikaans-speaking people.

Politicians, academics, clergy, ordinary people, labour leaders, workers, sports leaders, student leaders all played a decisive, pivotal and instrumental role to finally break the neck of the apartheid regime through the UDF. Think of Jakes Gerwel, Dicky van der Ross, Daan Cloete, Aubrey Redelinghuis, Allan Boesak, Danny Titus, Franklin Sonn, Lionel Louw, Llewellyn MacMaster, Ebrahim Rasool, Cecyl Esau, Tony Ehrenreich, Johnny Issel, Trevor Manuel, Gregory Rockman, Jeremy Veary (to name a few) – they were all Afrikaans-speaking leaders of the internal revolution. Who can deny and dispute these facts?

4.2 Kairos for Afrikaans

The kairos (moment of truth) has arrived for our mother tongue Afrikaans, spoken by over 7,2 million of our beloved country’s inhabitants.

We need to take up the baton that was not handed to us properly but dropped, so we had to take it up and dust it off and continue the race to the winning line and share our rightful place with all the other recognised indigenous languages.

Afrikaans is unjustifiably condemned as the language of the oppressor as if it is the language that kept apartheid going and kicking.

To accuse a language and make it the scapegoat is as ridiculously foolish as to punish” isiXhosa or any other of the languages spoken in the so-called Bantustans which were products of apartheid and accepted by the rulers of those regions. Or even better, punishing English because it was the language of the colonialist oppressors and slave masters.


To accuse a language and make it the scapegoat is as ridiculously foolish as to punish” isiXhosa or any other of the languages spoken in the so-called Bantustans which were products of apartheid and accepted by the rulers of those regions. Or even better, punishing English because it was the language of the colonialist oppressors and slave masters.


4.3 Madiba and Afrikaans

Nelson Mandela, often referred to as Madiba, believedEducation is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

Madiba himself, setting the example, learned to speak Afrikaans in prison so that he could communicate better with the prison wardens on Robben Island.

He wrote a comprehensive letter in Afrikaans to thank Tafelberg Publishers in Cape Town for sending him a copy of a collection of Afrikaans poetry, namely Groot verseboek. Madiba on the world stage at his inauguration, with the eyes and ears of the whole world with him, quoted from the poemDie kind is nie dood nie” by an Afrikaans poet, Ingrid Jonker, whom he introduced as “both an Afrikaner and African” – again affirming his recognition of Afrikaans-speaking people who had contributed, in whichever manner, to the dismantling and fall of apartheid.

After his release, whenever addressing Afrikaans-speaking people, whether at the West Coast and Atlantis with Allan Boesak and Basil Kivedo, or at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn, Madiba spoke Afrikaans. He believed:

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.

I have on numerous occasions, in public addresses or in more private gatherings, tried to allay these fears of marginalisation. What I do want to say today, is that the Coloured communities must learn to take pride in their history and their achievements.

The above quotation as reflected in Die Hoorn, a local newspaper, reported on Madiba in April 2001 at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, in his predominantly Afrikaans speech, in which he gave recognition to the historically proven significant contribution of Afrikaans-speaking people to the struggles for righteousness in South Africa over very many decades.

Madiba is further quoted:

Daar is so ’n trotse geskiedenis wat terugstrek tot die vryheidstryde van die Khoi en die San; die opstande van die slawe; die saamveg van Khoi en Xhosa in die koloniale Oos-Kaap; die APO en die Coloured People’s Congress in die vorige eeu; die vryheidshelde in MK en ander organisasies; UDF en ander demokratiese bewegings. En miljoene gewone mense wat onder die haglikste omstandighede moes sukkel om vir hul kinders en gesinne ’n ordentlike lewe te probeer handhaaf.

Then he followed it up with these powerful words of praise and recognition for those who fought in the liberation struggle in Afrikaans:

I also need to pay tribute to the Coloured community, such an important section of Afrikaans speakers. There is often so much of a sense of insecurity and uncertainty expressed from their ranks. This is understandable in a situation of fundamental change.

He underpinned the important recognition that Afrikaans is a tongue of all (destroying the popular generalisation of Afrikaans as the language of the white oppressor) with this revelation:

I cannot end without referring to an experience I had at a historically Afrikaans university recently where I saw three African students receiving degrees in Afrikaans cum laude. That, once more, was a reminder of how our society is changing and how Afrikaans celebrates the fact that it is a shared language.

Then, lastly, prophetically challenging Afrikaans-speaking people of South Africa, to remain committed to our mission:

Dit beteken om met waardigheid ’n mens se reg op te eis. En Afrikaans is een arena waarin dit beslis gedoen word.

And this is exactly our response now – 20 years after that ground-breaking challenge!

By offering official status to Afrikaans and nine other indigenous languages alongside English, the Constitution afforded all South Africans the opportunity to learn in their mother tongue.

We will take heed of Madiba’s challenge, to proclaim our rights as proud South African Afrikaans-speaking people – even if some others are too weak or too afraid or ashamed for reasons of their own.

  1. Role of Afrikaans in restitution, reconciliation, social cohesion, forgiveness, healing; being the pillars of the envisaged nation-building project

One of the projects which can be seen as an outcome of the Codesa negotiations is the National Unity / Nation Building Project. The pillars on which this mammoth task must rest are those of restitution, restorative justice, reconciliation, forgiveness and healing. Institutions as well as civilian-driven organisations would have been the impetus behind these initiatives.

Madiba made it very clear that the success of this project depended on how multiculturalism, multilingualism, mutual respect, celebration of diversity and inclusivity would be navigated. He further emphasised the critical role of all our diverse languages as instruments of communication. He specifically mentioned the important role of Afrikaans in reconciliation, given its dubious past.

  1. Afrikaans as academic and scientific language. 

We need to secure Afrikaans as an academic and scientific language, especially its books on terminology, technology, literature etc. Because of its high level and standard of development we would love to pass that knowledge on to our students, children and grandchildren. During the high points of the previous regime that was their claim to fame. We, as coloured and blacks, also worked shoulder to shoulder with them, but never or seldom got the recognition.

We need to have language policies at tertiary institutions to recognise the status of Afrikaans as an academic language and accept the responsibility to promote it as an academic language. Such tertiary institutions should be committed to use and maintain the development of Afrikaans as an academic language in a multilingual context using parallel-medium education.

While it is true that proficiency in English holds distinct advantages in a globalised world, it doesn’t necessarily follow that teaching and learning should take place exclusively in this language. Research indicates that mother-tongue instruction – especially at the foundational stage – is vital for a learner’s overall personal and educational development. This is also the case in higher education. It takes quite a degree of proficiency in a language to graduate in it, whatever the field of study.

Currently, Afrikaans has lost some ground at some tertiary institutions, but the situation is getting worse by the day. Although at some institutions it is still standing reasonably strong as a medium of instruction – both in schools and universities – compared with other indigenous languages, the red flags are waving.

Afrikaans went from zero to hero in less than 100 years. It went from being dismissed as mere “kitchen Dutch” to being a fully-fledged higher-function language capable of expressing the most advanced and intricate concepts of literature, philosophy, science, justice, commerce, etc. on a par with the world’s leading languages.

However, Afrikaans also went the other way – from hero to zero – one cold winter’s morning in June 1976, when black school children revolting against the National Party government’s attempts to impose “the language of the oppressor” on them.

Despite the best efforts of the Afrikaner Nationalists, who tried to claim the language for the Afrikaner and cleanse it of all “dark influences”, there are still more black people who speak Afrikaans than white people.


Despite the best efforts of the Afrikaner Nationalists, who tried to claim the language for the Afrikaner and cleanse it of all “dark influences”, there are still more black people who speak Afrikaans than white people.


  1. Tertiary institutions and Afrikaans

The lesson of 16 June 1976 is that language should never again be allowed to be used to exclude anyone from opportunities. The lesson of 27 April 1994 is that the country – with all its assets – belongs to all of us.

That is why not one of the formerly white and Afrikaans universities is still exclusively white and Afrikaans. Every coloured person, or black person, or every white person, whether Afrikaans or English, has the right to go to the tertiary institution of his or her choice. And this greater diversity is to the benefit of these places and the country.

During Professor Russel Botman’s inaugural speech as rector and vice-chancellor of the University of Stellenbosch in 2007 he said:

We can only feel satisfied that there is fair access when the daughter of the farm worker has the same future opportunities as the son of the farmer. In our part of the world the chances are good that the daughter will be coloured and Afrikaans speaking – and poor. If we are serious about our pursuit of justice, isn’t it so that we have no choice but to make all tertiary institutions home to her as well?

Currently, with your definition to exclude Afrikaans as an indigenous language, and some other misconceptions, tertiary institutions, and the government of the day, are bleeding Afrikaans to death. We can never allow that, and plead with you for reconsideration. Not only because we are devoted to the language, but simply because Afrikaans speakers gain access to higher education through the language.

A large percentage of poor coloured people in the rural areas are heavily burdened by poverty, but unfortunately the participation rate of Afrikaans-speaking coloured students in higher education is extremely low. In fact, it is the lowest of all race groups.

We cannot use or protect Afrikaans in isolation. Afrikaans can be protected only if it is viewed as a language among other languages – thus part of a type of linguistic ubuntu. That is to say: “A language is a language through other languages.”

South Africa is not a monolingual country, although sometimes it might look that way. The irony is that even in monolingual countries such as the Netherlands, “internationalisation” has increasingly become the watchword in higher education. English is increasingly being used to accommodate a diverse group of students.

Our situation is not like that in Belgium, where Flemish conflicts with French. Afrikaans is not in conflict with the other languages of the country; Afrikaans exists in its own right, at home, among South Africa’s other languages.

The language struggle in Belgium is tearing that country apart. We have had enough of such divisiveness. Here we want to build a nation and uplift a people, and that is an endeavour in which multilingualism has a big role to play.

At the installation of Johann Rupert as the University of Stellenbosch’s fourteenth chancellor on 18 February 2010, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, called the development of Afrikaans from humble roots to a higher-function language “a truly impressive historical event”. He called for the expertise that had been built up in this regard to be used for the promotion of indigenous African (including Afrikaans) languages.

What DAK wishes is for Afrikaans-speaking youth to achieve at least a first qualification in their mother tongue. At stake is not only a language, but also the upliftment of a community, an entire country, and the continent. We regard Afrikaans as one of the indigenous languages of our country.

  1. Achievements as well as achievers in Afrikaans.

It is a given fact that human beings have had an urge to express themselves from the early times of their existence. Today we still have the remnants in the form of rock art against the walls of caves across our country. Beautiful depictions of how our ancestors, like the Khoi and San, spent their time through hunting and games, and how they worshipped.

And for years the writers of colour in this country had major stumbling blocks to express themselves in the printed media. But through the years more and more authors, poets and scriptwriters tried to see their creative writings in print in Afrikaans.

At first very few authors, like Sidney Vernon Petersen, PJ Philander, Arthur Fula and Eddie Domingo, got published before 1960. It was their way of telling the history of their people and leaving a written legacy in Afrikaans

Early in the 1960s poet and playwright Adam Small debuted with Verse van die liefde (1957). But Peter Blum’s Kaapse tjent will have the honour of being the first poet to use Kaaps in his poetry. Between 1960 and 1990 fewer than 20 authors of colour got published by mainstream publishing houses. It was as if there was a gate in front of the publishing houses.

After 1990 authors of the likes of Patrick J Petersen, Peter Snyders, Leonard (Lennie) Koza, Willie Adams, Karel Benjamin, SP Benjamin, Elias P Nel, AHM Scholtz, Floris A Brown, Abraham (Ronnie) Phillips, Diana Ferrus, Kirby van der Merwe, Heindrich Wyngaard, Ingrid Geldenhuys, the author-couple Edwina and Willem Fransman Jr, Nathan Trantraal, Clinton V du Plessis and Rhys Chase became household names.

Other avenues of creative writing expression were radio and stage dramas. In this respect playwrights like Adam Small, Melvin Whitebooi, Peter Braaf, Ivan Sylvester. PA Jacobs, Willem Fransman Jr (radio and stage), Christo Davids (radio, TV and stage) and Lloyd Davids wrote “slice of life” dramas.

At one stage the world-renowned author André P Brink said: “Kanna hy ko’ hystoe (by Adam Small), was the single best drama ever written in Afrikaans.”

Not to be outdone, a handful of female authors published their works at mainstream publishing houses: Frieda Gygenaar, EKM Dido, Zulfa Otto-Sallies, Diana Ferrus, Bettina Wyngaard, Jolyn Phillips, Olivia Coetzee and Ronelda S Kamfer, to name a few.

Some of the above-mentioned writers’, poets’ and playwrights’ works are now used in primary and high schools as prescribed works. Some of them even at tertiary institutions.

On the alternative music front we have rap artists of the likes of Brasse vannie Kaap, Funny Carp, HemelBesem, Hooflig, Emo Adams, Les Javan, Fraser and Danielle Barry, Kaapse Woordenaar and Jitsvinger,

  1. Afrikaans and global status 

Afrikaans is the most widely understood lingua franca in the whole of Southern Africa. Afrikaans is, therefore, not only a South African Language, but a language of the continent of Africa. Afrikaans is currently widely spoken in neighbouring countries like Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

There are many South Africans living and working abroad, especially in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States of America, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, who are Afrikaans speaking.

They have acceded to Afrikaans websites, news sites such as Netwerk24, Sake24 and radio broadcasts over the web such as Radiosondergrense, Bokradio, Radio Pretoria. There are many South African artists who tour to these countries to bring the Afrikaans genre to these expatriates.

  1. Conclusion

This, Minister, is our humble submission that Afrikaans be recognised as an indigenous language by the Department of Higher Education.

Danie van Wyk, Executive Chairperson on behalf of DAK Netwerk

Also read:

US-taaldebat 2021: Is die Universiteit Stellenbosch besig om Afrikaanse studente te ont-taal?

SU language debate 2021: Inside the anxious world of the taalstryders

US-taaldebat 2021: Toe, wanneer word jy baas oor ’n ander se mond?

SU language debate 2021: A riposte: Vader Jansen, slaap jy nóg?

Onverskilligheid of malligheid? Ons hoef nie een sektor van die gemeenskap te ontmagtig om die ander te bemagtig nie.

US-taaldebat 2021: Afrikaans is sterkgesig

Kaaps is the future of Afrikaans

US-taaldebat 2021: Die taalkwessie aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch

US-taaldebat 2021: Hou op om in Afrikaans te droom

US-taaldebat 2021: Afrikaans as onderrigtaal aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch

Belgiese akademikus stuur sterk boodskap aan US

’n Onderhoud met Danie van Wyk, nuwe voorsitter van die DAK Netwerk

Dala Afrikaans in Stellenbosch se strate

Afrikaans: Waarheid en versoening onder een DAK

Rolspelers in die onderwys in gesprek: ’n Uiters suksesvolle nasionale beraad

Stellenbosch language debate: Speech by David Jantjies at the DAK meeting with the SAHRC

Is Afrikaans aan die US ’n spyker ryker in haar doodskis?



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  • Sally Witbooi

    Ek het uit huis uit grootgeword in Afrikaans en ken geen ander taal as my moedertaal nie. As Suid-Afikaner en nou reeds 'n pensioenaris, wil ek vir Dr. Nzimande vra hoe my Afrikaans uitheems kan wees as ek eg inheems is: hier gebore en getoë.

  • Anthony "Speedp" Wilson

    Dankie, Danie en span, vir 'n puik stuk werk! Dié moes lank reeds gebeur het - waar die klomp die waarheid oor Afrikaans vertel word. Wie ookal nou nog nie weet nie, moes iewers in 'n grot langer as Rip van Winkel op sy eis gebly het!

  • Stoffel van der Merwe

    Ek was vir tien jaar ’n dosent by die destydse Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit. Lesings is in Afrikaans gegee, terwyl meeste van die handboeke Engels was. Hoewel ek ook vlot in Engels was, as gevolg van vier jaar se verblyf in die buiteland, het ek gevind dat ek die studente baie beter kon begelei deur middel van Afrikaans. Nadat ek die konsepte vir hulle in Afrikaans tuisgebring het, kon hulle ook die Engelse handboeke beter verstaan en meer waarde daaruit kry.

    Ek ondersteun dus die idee van Afrikaans as onderrigtaal met groot entoesiasme.
    En natuurlik is Afrikaans ’n inheemse taal!

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