ANC 'has no plans to destroy Afrikaans'
Johannesburg - The ANC says it has no plans to destroy the Afrikaans language, Beeld newspaper reported on Friday.
This was in reaction to criticism of the governing party's language development policy.
The ANC used its majority in the parliamentary portfolio committee on arts and culture on Wednesday to reject a suggestion that it could afford better protection to the Afrikaans language.
A controversial clause in the policy - according to which government departments have to provide services in at least three languages, two of which have to be previously disadvantaged and indigenous - received a majority vote.
New language policy
The clause would now form part of the new language policy, the newspaper reported.
The DA and the Freedom Front Plus had suggested the use of at least four languages.
ANC committee chairperson Thandile Sunduza said she agreed in principle that the destruction of a language could result in the destruction of a nation.
"And yet, that is what apartheid did. It started destroying our people's names and giving them Western names - that's how you destroy the identity of a nation."
She said there were important considerations beyond simply the practical.
Sibusiso Xaba, director general of arts and culture, said the law would not discriminate against any language.
Money and capacity played an important role, and it would be impossible to extend the target to four languages, he said.