Minorities have very little to celebrate on Heritage Day - FW de Klerk Foundation

2015-09-24 12:14
(AFP)

(AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Minorities have very little to celebrate on Heritage Day 21 years after the establishment of a new constitutional democracy, the FW de Klerk Foundation has said.

“The vision of a vibrant multi-cultural society with a mosaic of cultures and languages coexisting harmoniously in mutual toleration and respect has not been realised,” said the foundation’s executive director Dave Steward in a statement. 

The Constitution makes full provision for this and recognises 11 national languages and “accords them parity of esteem”.

“It enjoins the state to develop our indigenous languages and requires government to be conducted in at least two languages at national and provincial level. It recognises the right of everyone to practise their cultures and use their languages.”

But the foundation pointed out that English is the single official language of the country.

“Little or nothing has so far resulted from the Use of Official Languages Act that was adopted in 2012 at the insistence of the courts. The Act requires all government departments and entities to adopt language policies that will give effect to the language requirements in the Constitution - but little or nothing appears to have happened in practice.”

The right to education in a language of choice is also being undermined, the organisation said.

“The few universities that still provide tuition in Afrikaans at undergraduate level are under enormous pressure to increase their English language offering - despite the fact that at 22 of our 26 universities English is the sole language of tuition.

“Single-medium Afrikaans schools are also under growing pressure to provide classes in English. This is despite the fact that a majority of Afrikaans-speakers are not white and that Afrikaans single-medium schools admit children on a non-racial basis.”

President Jacob Zuma and government ministers also frequently attack the heritage and history of minority communities, it said.

“President Zuma recently blamed all the problems of the country on the arrival in South Africa of Jan van Riebeeck. Statues of historic leaders from minority communities are daubed with paint and excrement. White South Africans are increasingly referred to as ‘colonialists’ - as though they are alien interlopers in their own country.”   

The Constitution recognises as a foundational value the right to human dignity which is "inextricably interlinked with the cultural, language and religious identities of citizens", the foundation said. 

Read more on:    fw de klerk foundation  |  heritage day  |  fw de klerk  |  jacob zuma

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

4 die in Lenasia gunfight

2016-09-24 19:46

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.