Mind your language - shake-up at universities

2011-04-05 22:14

Pretoria - Every university student in South Africa could be required to learn one African language as a condition for graduating, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.

An advisory panel had been tasked with looking into the issue, Nzimande said in Pretoria at the launch of the teacher education and development plan for the next 15 years.

"One of the things we are looking into is... to what extent should we consider that every university student in South Africa must at least learn one African language as a condition for graduating," he said.

This was "very, very critical".

Speaking in isiZulu, Nzimande said: "Akukwazi ukuba yithi kuphela ekuthiwa sifunde isingisi nesibhunu bakwethu, kodwa ezethu iyilimi nabanye bangazifundi [We can't be expected to learn English and Afrikaans, yet they don't learn our languages]".

He said the issue of the development and teaching of African languages in universities was something he was taking up as a special ministerial project.

The advisory panel would look at how to strengthen university teaching and expansion of African languages, which was in a serious decline.

The launch of the strategic planning framework for teachers aims to improve the quality of teachers and teaching in the country in line with calls over the years by teacher unions.

The plan identifies the availability of qualified and capable African language foundation phase teachers as particularly problematic.

Nzimande said this had "severe implications" for the development of early numeracy and literacy, which was the foundation for all future learning.

"African language learners in the poor, rural context are mostly severely impacted," he said.

A European Union-supported programme to strengthen foundation teacher education was already being implemented by the higher and basic education departments.

It would increase the number of universities involved in foundation phase teacher education from 18 in 2008 to 20 by 2014, said Nzimande.

  • Alpha - 2011-04-05 22:28

    Afrikaans IS an African language.

      Alpha - 2011-04-05 22:48

      I think he means, they need to learn a black language. That is plain rasist!!! Mind you ANC = rasists.

      liesl - 2011-04-05 23:55

      Quite right, Alpha. Homegrown.

      xplorer - 2011-04-06 02:11

      Afrikaans IS and African Language as much as Xhosa and Zulu - The Nguni people are SETTLERS - the black people are original from central-Western Africa - Nigeria - etc.. - They migrated and settled soutwards - it's like saying the ROmans/Italians/Turks are native to the whole of Europe - My forefathers 1000's yrs back are from the Barbarians (Germanic Nations) in the northern parts of Europe The Aboriginal or NATIVE people of South-Africa are the SAN - the Bushman - and they were the natives in the WHOLE of SOUTHERN-AFRICA - including Angola, Botswana, Mosambique, Zimbabwe - and finally South Africa - Black people are settlers from somewhere else - Dialects like Xhosa was FORMED in in the South African region (not long ago mind you 300 to 400 years - very close to Afrikaans) - Xhosa means "the violent men" a San word given to them as they violently RESETTLED in the San lands. The San people were used as slaves to dig up gold and mines by the black-people - even 200 yrs ago - This is history- This is facts - A black person is not a NATIVE of South Africa - just as a eskimo is not a native of the United States. We all - inluding the blacks - should rather focus on uplifting the descendants of the San and learn to speak Xhoi

      casabanderas - 2011-04-06 02:19

      Swahili is an African language - does that qualify???

      casabanderas - 2011-04-06 02:19

      So is Arabic

      Stan - 2011-04-06 04:47

      xplorer: Well said. We should all first learn our history before we start making idiotic statements. Why not make History a compulsory subject and try to get the masses all on the same level? Seems like the current “Regime” is getting worst than the previous “Apartheid regime”. Who are the racists now?

      Dassie - 2011-04-06 06:39

      It is always good to be able to better yourself. Learn as much as you can and lead from the front. It should start at primary school level though. It would be better if city folks could go into the country and meet the black people too.

      Mattewis - 2011-04-06 07:32

      You 100% correct, Alpha! I don't think this is what Blade had in mind, but we all know with what foresight these ANC m0r0ns think. They hate Afrikaans, and when he realizes the implication of his words, he'll start back-peddling! It was fine for blacks to burn down schools because they didn't want to be taught Afrikaans, and now the very same blacks behind those violent actions want to force other people to be taught their languages! What hypocrites! By the way, Alfred: Just remember to keep your legs nice and straight when you pick up the soap! For the reason I have already mentioned, it is racist in our political context! If blacks violently refused to be taught the language of the people who brought the very concept of formal education to them (and even created the written form of their own languages), how-T-F can they force these people to be taught their languages?

      wtfxxbob - 2011-04-06 07:38

      Below is a list of the top 10 african languages and 1000 000s of people who speak it (see wikipedia). Think I'll go with Swahili. Got the last one covered :) Arabic (North Africa, Horn of Africa, and including Asia) 100 native + 30 secondary Berber (North Africa) 15 to 25 native + 4 secondary Swahili (East Africa) 10 native + 80 secondary Hausa (West Africa) 24 native + 15 secondary Oromo (Northeast Africa) 25 Zulu (South Africa) 9 native + 16 secondary[citation needed] Somali (Horn of Africa) 18-21 Yoruba (West Africa) 21 native + 5 secondary Igbo (West Africa) 20 native + 5 secondary Afrikaans (South Africa and Namibia) 6-7 native + 16 secondary

      evereadydude - 2011-04-06 07:48

      Blade must first and foremost learn how to speak English properly! Remember the '76 uprisings over afrikaans? Now the racist Anc regime wants to implement the selfsame on us! I want fu?ol to do with a African language. NOT my heritage!!!!!!

      Squeegee Pilot - 2011-04-06 07:53

      All smoke and mirrors to deflect attention away from the fact that teachers cannot work out a simple percentage. Note the 'us' and 'them' division in the mind of the minister. This implies a heavier burden on the 'them' students. Double standards.

      The Observer - 2011-04-06 08:09

      Xavier/Zinki. It is only you two who think the word extends to the border of SA. Afrikaans is not a form of Dutch. Yes Dutch is major part of the langue but it also contains German, French, Flemish and English. Now your own languages works exactly the same. You once upon a time all spoke the same dribble. As people moved down from West Africa the languages stated to move apart. Do you think it is an coincidence that allot of your languages have similar sounds, words etc. Now from this site “This unique language "just grew' from the soil of South Africa. In the human melting pot of the Cape it was inevitable that, from the original Dutch spoken by the first settlers, a colloquial form would be evolved by people such as the Khoikhoi and slaves from Malaya, Indonesia, Madagascar and West Africa.” I suggest you two start reading a bit. I’m getting tired of you lot commenting on stuff you obviously do not have a clue of what you are talking about, you have no clue what is going on around you, your country’s history (and I know you know jack sh..t about our country’s history apart from your anc propagated apartheid crap), and even less about world history. No please don’t comment again on stuff you know nothing off.

      Alpha - 2011-04-06 08:13

      Look, I wouldn't mind learning Zulu. But to force someone to learn Zulu at varsity to get an engineering degree?! Just doesn't make sense!!!!

      Alpha - 2011-04-06 08:28

      Start your own Zulu university!!!! All classes will be presented in Zulu. There are 9 mil Zulu speaking people in SA. I bet you can fill an university. I dare you!!!!!

      Siff - 2011-04-06 08:37

      Lets just burn the university down like they did in 76. Then we can also sing Brick in the wall. Wont that be fun?

      Dassie - 2011-04-06 08:44

      The moment I write something pro-Blade Nzimande it is OK with N24. BUT, when I write the truth like so many people's comments, it gets deleted. AND, I did not even use foul language (which I normally don't do). So whatever I've said, I mean the opposite.

      ArtGee - 2011-04-06 08:47

      So, South Africa is GOING BACK to 1976, when the black school kids started the REVOLT because AFRIKAANS was the FORCED lingo... Anything different to what is being PROPOSED?? Ok maar LEKKER STUPID...Ne'!

      JMGBAY - 2011-04-06 08:56

      @Alpha, I totally agree with you, Afrikaans is an African language and I don’t know why we even get uptight when a dumb racist makes stupid remarks like that. I really do pity the small minority of Nguni's who spoil it for everyone in SA. We know the Nguni's in parliament don’t work for a living, but please...... take up golf or something..... ohhhh sorry isn’t that a colonial game????

      Thangy - 2011-04-06 10:47

      blah, blah, blah!! This will be fun!!

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 12:05

      Languages are classified by their roots. If you google Afrikaans. Here is something interesting: "Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia" source: "The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three traditional branches of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English, Dutch, Afrikaans, the Frisian languages, and Yiddish" source: Now, west germanic languages are classified as Indo-European, thus afrikaans is european not african. Even though you have languages like spanish, arabic, french, portugese etc. which are spoken in africa doesn't make them african languages. I know a lot of people living and doing businees in europe that have zulu as their mother tongue, does that mean Zulu is now european. There is a difference between african languages (which has their roots in africa) and languages which are spoken in africa.

      Onthou - 2011-04-06 13:31

      Very true, spot on Alpha.

      Zinki - 2011-04-06 14:55

      @The observer. Why you being so racist? I AM A WHITE ENGLISH SPEAKING SOUTH AFRICAN!!! Afrikaans IS a form of Dutch mixed with French. Check your Oxford English Dictionary, if you have one. It was not a language that originated from Africa. It has its origins in European languages. It happened to evolve into what it is now here in SA.

      ir8m8 - 2011-04-06 15:03

      no it isn't it stems from colonial dutch and german, it has zero roots in africa.

      Hymie - 2011-04-06 15:05

      Well...a conflation of Dutch and who knows what? Can't agree. Sorry!

      Meanleader - 2011-04-06 15:11

      I wholeheartedly agree !! Every SA citizen should learn an African Language . My daughter will be learning Afrikaans . I just for the life of me cannot understand the faulty rationale why it needs to be linked to higher education !! Smells a bit monkey to me !

      Psalm - 2011-04-06 17:17

      @ Alpha, it is largely pointless for the Afrikaners to try promoting Afrikaans now. Afrikaans is a language that was forced down the throats of Africans in force-feed, colonialist style. Did you miss the prostests by African students against the imposition of Afrikaans in their schools? By that policy, the Afrikaners proved that Afrikaans was a tool of oppression. I assure you, most Africans have no interest in Afrikaans and have had enough of it. Feel free to speak it, if you wish. It is your right. But don't think you can sell it to us Africans. Blade knows that he'd be signing the death warrant for the ANC if he ever tried to force Afrikaans on any African.

      wattalotokak - 2011-04-06 19:50

      Yo... This language strikes a cord with you people..! Look at all the comments..! Do any of you actually realise how wrong is to impose the ;earning of a language in the University context to the degree that you could fail your grades??? A language should at least be considered to be introduced at the pre and high-school levels...! University is about higher eduction. Only those who learn linguistics, or history or anything related to languages should consider new languages. But what on earth does MEDICINE, MATHS, SCIENCE, BIOLOGY, GRAPHIC WORKS, ETC ETC has to do with a language to the degree that it is dependant upon???? - 2011-04-07 14:21

      100% Correct Alpha, Though I'd say they should not focus on and force learners to learn a specific set of languages. English is the global language and as long as they make that mandatory then I believe the system works. The rest of the languages should be optional as they have no relevance outside of Africa. I have a German friend who is fluent in German, French, Spanish, English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. He also states that he has only ever used Xhosa and Afrikaans once or twice while in South Africa. He has only been using English. As for the Government. All their paperwork needs to be in English and another language for international companies/governments to understand. So just stick to English as mandatory and the rest as optional and lets not make a fuss about the rest. Ek is Afrikaans en sou nêrens gekom het as ek nie Engels geleer het nie. (I am Afrikaans and would not have gotten anywhere without learning English.)

      Ponkie - 2011-04-07 17:44

      Is Std 7 woodwork also a black language?

      Alpha - 2011-04-08 00:06

      Accoring to the net:( "The Zulus believe that they are descendents of a Congo chief whom during the 16th century migrated to the South. By the 17th and 18th century theZulu people were established in kwaZulu Natal and formed tribes and clans. The first noted King of kwaZulu is King Malandela kaLuzamu but the years in which he lead the Zulu nation are not known. When he died Ntombhela kaMalandela, the son, took over as King ... Zulu kaNtombhela lead the people from 1709." This means that the Zulu's have been in Southern Africa for about 50 - 70 years longer than Europeans. If memory serves me right they hunted and killed most of the other tribes in Southern Africa (Including the white Settlers). Why is it that they are so easily accepted/forgiven and whites not?

      aa gone - 2011-04-08 09:47


  • Cameron - 2011-04-05 22:33

    What a load of BS! What good will that do to anyone? Next ol' Blade will be expecting all students to wear traditional african clothes. Blade is a useless minister.

      4daluvofSA - 2011-04-06 09:23

      @ArtGee, can you see yourself speaking Afrikaans anywhere else in the world except for SA and Namibia?

      Heibrin - 2011-04-06 09:48

      @4daluvofSA: Perth, London, Van Couver.... to name but a few places where there are very large SA communities, and Afrikaans is spoken

      4daluvofSA - 2011-04-06 09:53

      @Heibrin, there are Zulu speaking people all over the world but that doesn't mean that it is a business language that is understood internationally...maybe you misunderstood my comment but it is based on the article and people thinking Afrikaans and English are the only languages that South Africans should understand..

      Haas Das - 2011-04-06 09:56

      @4daluvofSA you havent really travelled much have you? UK, Australia, New Zealand, Botswana, frightening how we've spread around the globe

      DoctorDoctor - 2011-04-06 09:56

      @4daluvofSA yes actually go to Europe and you'd be surprised. In The Netherlands I was able to communicate fully with a Dutch man by speaking Afrikaans. And since Afrikaans contains several different dialects, many European languages are far easier to understand. One cannot say the same for any black language.

      Blackup - 2011-04-06 11:25

      @Heibrin: ...and what gives you the idea that Pedi people arent there too? tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk

      Blackup - 2011-04-06 11:29

      And i have been to London and California speaking Sesotho most of the time while there. Its not only white South Africans that emmigrate! Had you known some of the 11 languages apart from English and Afrikaans you would had an idea.

      Francois - 2011-04-06 13:49

      I spoke Afrikaans in England, Wales, Perth and they understood me. Even in Paris (the one in France) they understood Afrikaans better than English. Does Inyesi Malema know what the Sotho, Zulu or Tswana for Breitling watch is? Or even for watch? Is it not ewotshi?

      schmerz - 2011-04-07 13:58

      South Africa is the Afrikaner homeland. You are trying to take that away from us, you are trying to destroy a whole race, we don't just fold.

  • edvermaak - 2011-04-05 22:36

    Why not just get rid of tertiary education once and for all. That's where Blade would like it to go it seems.

      edvermaak - 2011-04-05 22:41

      It seems that what the ANC (or Communist P) wants is retribution for the fact that the non-English students have to be taught in English at 'Varsity. A sort of tit for tat.

  • OB1 - 2011-04-05 22:40

    thought Afrikaans was an african language

      Zinki - 2011-04-06 05:55

      Afrikaans is a form of Dutch. It's not African. Blade should rather take the focus off white people's education, because it is excellent. He must focus on the terribly poor township schools and fat lazy teachers.

      Chillepeppa - 2011-04-06 06:50

      @ Xavier and Zinki, Yes, is might be a form of Dutch, but one that was born on African soil, which makes it an African language. You will be hard pressed to find Afrikaaners in Europe who were born and raised there in Afrikaans. I would think that since it is one of our 11 official languages, even the Government considers it an African language.

      Boychild - 2011-04-06 07:45

      @all All languages morph and evolve over time to meet new demands but they are limited. Afrikaans, although based on a mixture of Dutch, French, English and Flemish developed as a communication language and was originally seen as a kitchen language used only to communicate with the help. It has since developed into a internationally recognised language spoken predominantly in South Africa, but also used as home language in many parts of the world where SAFFERS move to. Afrikaans is spoken not only by White South Afircans, but by a very large group of Black, Coloured and Indian South Africans. As a National Rep working within government circles, you would be surprised at how many of my meetings are held in Afrikaans at the behest of the parties I meet. At a training session about four years ago it was demanded of me by the students in our pre-meeting, to provide all the training in English only. After about 10 minutes and seeing that glint of total lostness in the groups eyes, I interjected with some Afrikaans only to be met with the following comment: "Meneer, please make it like this, you speak too high in English" Needless to say the rest of the course was completed in Afrikaans, with English added where necessary.

      PDP - 2011-04-06 09:18

      That's what everyone seem to miss. English is not a "white"[We can't be expected to learn English and Afrikaans, yet they don't learn our languages]" language. It is the internationaly accepted language.

      tumza - 2011-04-06 10:07

      Who said Afrikaans wasnt an African language.Did Blaze actually mentioned which languages would be taught to students.You guys are way over your racist head, according to you whites-a black man can never do right.MAndela tried to hard to unite the country but all of you haters are destroying his work-and remember the ANC will rule for kingdom come if this is how you have behave.I for one dont want to vote for the ANC but since i laid my eyes on this white racist website i am keener that ver to vote for the ANC and i will alos urge other black people to vote the ANC.

      Lanfear - 2011-04-06 10:30

      @ Zinki - Afrikaans is NOT just a form of Dutch! FFS, learn some history before you comment please. Afrikaans is a language that developed in South Africa and yes, it is from Dutch, but just as much from German, French, Flemmish, Swedish as well as incorporating a LOT of words from Khoi and even black languages. Zuma himself actually admitted that Afrikaans is an indigenous language. The rest of your comment is great though!

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 12:49

      Languages are classified by their roots. If you google Afrikaans. Here is something interesting: "Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia" source: "The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three traditional branches of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English, Dutch, Afrikaans, the Frisian languages, and Yiddish" source: Now, west germanic languages are classified as Indo-European, thus afrikaans is european not african. Even though you have languages like spanish, arabic, french, portugese etc. which are spoken in africa doesn't make them african languages. I know a lot of people living and doing businees in europe that have zulu as their mother tongue, does that mean Zulu is now european. There is a difference between african languages (which has their roots in africa) and languages which are spoken in africa. @chillepeppa, I know of 16 families in europe where their children 3-20yrs old were born in europe and the children consider their home language as afrikaans, they speak afrikaans at home, even some of their friends (who don't have south african origins) know a little bit afrikaans.

      Chillepeppa - 2011-04-07 07:07

      @ Xavier, Other than home schooling, do they go to an Afrikaans school? Do they go into any or every shop to buy groceries, and is able to find someone to assist then in Afrikaans? To raise my child in Afrikaans and to live my life in Afrikaans, 2 completely different things. You can only achieve the latter in South Africa. Anywhere else in the world, it would be considered an imported commodity... I get what you point is. I got it from the start, still doesn't change the fact that the home of Afrikaans is South Africa, regardless of it's root or origins. Like I said before, it is home here, because even though the government might not like Afrikaans that much, they respect it enough to have it on the list as an official South African language. THAT to me is what makes it count. Is it an official language anywhere in Europe? No. So we can consider those ties as broken. Afrikaans, roots and all have been adopted by Africa. So, it might not be "an African Language" but I live in Africa, and I speak African Afrikaans...

      lean - 2011-04-07 12:35

      Who need Zulu in America, England, Australia.... Why, Why, Why....Stupid....

  • RVQ - 2011-04-05 22:46

    No problem, why waste energy on trying to skill the younger generations with useless stuff like Economics, Engineering, Medicine... At least we'll be able to explain why this country is so screwed in all languages...

      velastardust - 2011-04-05 23:04

      I'd like to see an electrical engineering textbook in Xhosa, Zulu or Venda. Aish !

      alfred - 2011-04-06 00:56

      @velastardust That was not what Blade said or meant and if you think it were, perhaps English comprehension in addition to your electrical engineering textbook might help. How is it, in you opinion, France produces electrical engineers? Germany produces electrical engineers. China, Sweden, Denmark, Italy etc. all produce electrical engineers and none of them are tought in English. Eish

      Sybil Alexander - 2011-04-06 03:47

      @Alfred My son lives in Finland and studied IT and all his lectures was in English not Finnish.

      Mikemcc - 2011-04-06 06:12

      @Alfred, rubbish! In order for the engineering degree to be internationally recognised the graduate is expected to have a high level of fluency in all forms of English. This is according to agreements such as the Washington accord and others.

      Simon Goodman - 2011-04-06 07:40

      @Alfred and others, I find it very hard to believe that the lectures in France, Germany, etc are in English only. The universities might offer extra English, (language), courses, but I am sure that the everyday courses/lectures are not in English. I cannot even begin to think why that would be a requirement for those countries. The German and French are so proud of their languages I have a very hard time believing they would require that their engineers speak English. Those engineers produce cars, trains, bridges, buildings, aircrafts, rockets and so on for their own countries that I cannot see a bunch of French engineers at TGV, Renault, Dassault or whatever speaking to each others in English. The Merc, BMW engineers all seat in Germany speaking English to each others? Of course not. @Sybil Alexander, they might offer courses for English speakers, but I am fairly sure that Finland produces enough good engineers without having to require English to get your degree. Can you give me the name of the university where he got his degree? Unless someone can give me a link as a proof of the "All engineers must speak English" as a requirement to qualify I will assume that your statements were nothing than plain lies to (badly), make a point.

      Simon Goodman - 2011-04-06 08:32

      @Mikemcc, the Washington accord only applies to 13 countries, and France, Germany, China, Sweden, Denmark, Italy etc are not signatories of that accord. (see And even then, it does not cover Professional and Chartered Engineers.

      Bwhahaha - 2011-04-06 08:33

      @Simon. According to your logic, if two Engineers from different countries come together, they are not going to understand each other. You are mistaken, boet. There are international standards in place to resolve issues like this. ie THEY ALL LEARN ENGLISH! unless of course they WANT to restrict their skill to their country.

      Bwhahaha - 2011-04-06 08:34

      @Simon knock yourself out

      Siff - 2011-04-06 08:47

      To do an engineering coarse in ones own language would imply that said language has a complex vocabulary and not words such as ispanner etc.

      Simon Goodman - 2011-04-06 08:52

      @Bwhahaha the Washington Accord does not apply to those countries, in fact it does not apply to most countries in the world. And your argument is flawed, 2 engineers don't just 'come together'. They will both get a job from an engineering firm, and the firm/job/laws will dictate the language they speak. If an American wants to work for a French firm I suspect they will ask him to have some basics in French, otherwise he will not get the job, full stop. The same applies to Germany, Japan, China ...

      Mikemcc - 2011-04-06 08:57

      @Simon Goodman, China is definitely a signatory to the Washington Accord. Just for your information here is a link to the criteria used by the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers for determining professional status, look at section 1.7 Communication.

      Simon Goodman - 2011-04-06 10:04

      @Mikemcc China is not a signatory Hong Kong China and Chinese Taipei are not China, it is a fraction of the population. There is no doubt as to why Honk Kong, (an ex-English colony), will require English. Anyway, the point is still this is a very small group of countries and English is certainly _not_ the required language in most other developed countries.

      Chillepeppa - 2011-04-06 11:10

      @ Simon, But, if they were to try and negotiate beyond their borders, they will have to have some sort of English understanding. If any language barriers are encountered, 90% of the time, they (we) all revert to English.

      Simon Goodman - 2011-04-06 11:23

      @Chillepeppa, of course, you are 100% correct, I am not disputing the current requirement of the business world. Airbus is a good example, although it is, (was?), primarily a French company I am sure the engineers all work in English. Because they have French, English, German and Spanish engineers. They have to use a common language. The point I was making is that French, German, etc universities do not have lectures in English, neither do they have exams in English. Sometimes the business world demands that workers speak English but thankfully the academic world does not have such restrictions.

      Cire - 2011-04-06 12:09

      @ Alfred - NOne of them are taught in Zulu or Xhosa or whatever either! Nitwit!

      alfred - 2011-04-06 13:08

      @Ciro, whats your point?

      Cire - 2011-04-06 18:05

      @ Alfred - well, the point is that they learn in langauges in which there is already a huge scientific and technological content, and languages that lots of other people can understand. I'm all for mother-tongue education for anyone who wants it. But learning physics or mathematics or technology in Zulu or Venda is going to require one hell of a writing job before anybody can even start (unless I'm so racist that I am unaware of texts about, for example, electro-magnetism that have long exitsted in Zulu or Venda culture.) And once you get out of SE Africa nobody understands one word of any Africa langauges. Its not just about ENGLISH but abouit the pre-existing texts and comprehensibility of the langauge in professional circles.

      alfred - 2011-04-06 20:36

      @Cire I agree with you on your last comment 100% but, again. Thats not what Blade said. It was never implied that the medium of instruction would be Xhosa for example. I was just pointing to the fact that it doesnt necessarily have to be English and that other countries have done it that way.

      alfred - 2011-04-06 20:50

      @Sybil Firstly, Blade didnt say the language of instruction shall be a African language. Also, I just so happen to have lived in Sweden so I know some Finnish people. I asked them and they said yes, you can have classes in English if you are English speaking. However, if there are no English speakers, all classes are conducted in Finnish. The same applies to Sweden also where all kids are taught English and Swedish. It might interest you also that most Baltic countries are considering laws which prevents someone from getting citizenship unless they pass mandatory native language courses.

  • resiststance - 2011-04-05 22:47

    Didn't he get the memo that April fools day has already passed? :(

  • FuzzyGorilla - 2011-04-05 22:48

    Very good idea, after all, an African language really makes you so much more desirable in the international job market.

      Father-Time - 2011-04-05 23:07

      They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but personally I find it quite funny!!!! Nice!

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-04-05 23:25

      "They" say that because they can't spot it themselves most of the time and need a cover to hide their embarrisment.

      The-man-who - 2011-04-06 10:41

      One thing for sure that Blade said was that people should learn African languages, just the language. It's not that you will study medicine in Sotho, you will still continue learning everything in English but just that one African language. @Martin du Plessis, "embarrisment", you clearly still need to learn English - 2011-04-07 14:40

      @The-man-who - That does not explain why it should be mandatory to pass a university. For it to be mandatory in the education system, it must be required in the field your are studying for. To have a subject mandatory "Just because" would be the same as saying I need to study motor mechanics in order to qualify as a orthopedic surgeon... "Just because" they felt like adding that to the requirements.

  • Marc-Andre - 2011-04-05 22:48

    Nice call, I think. Why should we not all learn to understand at least one Africal language? Let's get rid of the linguistic arrogance we've had to suffer for so long! We are in AFRICA, after all...

      Cameron - 2011-04-05 22:54

      Fantastic subtle sarcasm - almost did not get it.

  • Goddok - 2011-04-05 22:49

    What a lot of nonsense. Show me any of the black languages that is a commercial and technical language. No disrespect for these languages, but how will it benefit graduates to operate in the global sphere by forcing them to learn an African language. What he should rather do is to pay for translating the study guides of the universities into one or more of the regional languages to assist the students.

      Bwhahaha - 2011-04-06 08:39

      You can just describe stuff so much better in English!

      Dan18 - 2011-04-06 12:53

      @Bwhahaha: You can explain anything better in your own mother tongue. Chop. - 2011-04-07 14:45

      @Dan18 - My mother tongue is Afrikaans. Yet I can explain things in much more detail using English. It's because I spend 99% of my day speaking English, at work, with friends, on the internet and in some instances at home (If i can't get my point across in Afrikaans I'll switch to English to explain it more clearly.)

  • Jacques Otto - 2011-04-05 22:53

    Blade a moron should not be the minister of Higher Education. Afrikaans is a African Language, what is up with they require us to learn their language but they dont need to learn ours. We are South Africans but you speak as if English and Afrikaans is Alien. Afrikaans is the second largest language in South Africa. Now we will have a mathematical genius fail Astronomy or Engineering because his skills and gift is not learning a language. Blade first have the impact study you mention then comment as you are looking like an absolute fool. Firstly if you want this introduction it should be at the primary school level. To make it fair on all languages each person should be able to then speak three languages one of which is English, one which is their home language and then one which is outside of their home language. Now how do you make sure each one has a fair choice of language. ZULU, Xhosa, Pedi, Tswana which is it going to be. If they can choose anyone, how will you ensure all students have a lecturer and how will you split 9 languages. Please Blade instead of turning education into political agendas please can we have our children first learn to do math or read. Also their is no current rule stating you must understand or know Afrikaans to pass your Degree. English is a world language and should be the basis of education

      william.botha - 2011-04-05 23:04

      Hey Jacques, don't forget the "pass one, pass all" rule new to education in SA. Maybe we shouldn't worry about this, as the students will be passed anyway.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 01:38

      No, Afrikaans doesn't have its roots in Africa but in Europe. No, afrikaans is not the second largest language in SA bit the third largest. SOUTH AFRICAN LANGUAGES 2001 Language Number of speakers* % of total Afrikaans 5 983 420 13.35% English 3 673 206 8.2% IsiNdebele 711 825 1.59% IsiXhosa 7 907 149 17.64% IsiZulu 10 677 315 23.82% Sesotho sa Leboa 4 208 974 9.39% Sesotho 3 555 192 7.93% Setswana 3 677 010 8.2% SiSwati 1 194 433 2.66% Tshivenda 1 021 761 2.28% Xitsonga 1 992 201 4.44% Other 217 291 0.48% TOTAL 44 819 777 100% That was in 2001, I promise you it is way less now, maybe afrikaans already lies 4th or 5th or 6th etc.

      Diego - 2011-04-06 03:05

      @xavier I see u r using census data which helped to compile. Your title however is wrong because those numbers refer to first language not just language spoken. Incidentally, French, Spanish and Portuguese are African languages too

      Bwhahaha - 2011-04-06 08:40

      Hoor hoor!

      PDP - 2011-04-06 09:23

      @xavier, Afrikaans doesn't only have it's roots in Europe. There are also words borrowed from the San & Koi.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 12:37

      @ shisterrer Languages are classified by their roots. If you google Afrikaans. Here is something interesting: "Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia" source: "The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three traditional branches of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English, Dutch, Afrikaans, the Frisian languages, and Yiddish" source: Now, west germanic languages are classified as Indo-European, thus afrikaans is european not african. Even though you have languages like spanish, arabic, french, portugese etc. which are spoken in africa doesn't make them african languages. I know a lot of people living and doing businees in europe that have zulu as their mother tongue, does that mean Zulu is now european. There is a difference between african languages (which has their roots in africa) and languages which are spoken in africa. btw I have done a lot of business in afrikaans in europe, yes there are many south africans living there so yes it is a spoken there, ever been to london and perth.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 12:42

      @PDP your right that words have been borrowd from other languages, see my reply to idiot shisterrer above. 90-95% of afrikaans is dutch origin and the other 5-10% consists of words borrowed from malay, portugese, french, bantu, khoisan etc. but see it is only words borrowed where dutch is the main language afrikaans has come from.

      Jaco - 2011-04-06 19:11

      Poor Xavier, if you think that visiting a Wikipedia page makes you an expert on any subject, then I suggest you do a bit of research on how research really ought to be done. If you include this in an assignment on tertiary level... "90-95% of afrikaans is dutch origin and the other 5-10% consists of words borrowed from malay, portugese, french, bantu, khoisan etc." can expect to see the word FAIL in bold red letters on your academic report. 90-95% ... 5-10%... that is called thumbsucking, my friend. Of course, lots of that info on Wikipedia is correct, but it's presented in such a simplified and dumbed-down manner, with lots of vital facts unaccounted for, and it generally reflects the bias of the kid who edited his own material onto the page. Why don't professors or true students of language not correct it then? They often do - and then some misguided spotty-nosed kid edits it again. The Wiki template also don't allow for encyclopaedic edits to be made - but it's useful for a quick reference or to give someone a jump start on some topic. But it's NOT the definitive word on any subject - and most definitely not on the history and the complete structure of ANY language.

      Xavier - 2011-04-07 01:26

      Shame Jaco do you think you know how research even works. As research is part of my everyday life, lets see how wiki works. Firstly yes anybody can write something, but they need to put a citation for what they write. If not, wiki will notify readers that the content may be suspecting.Now that numbers (90-95%)is not thumb suck, go and look, it has a citation. Now on the wiki the citation states Lass 1984:93). If you go an google you will see it to be Roger Lass here is a webistes with his credentials: Now if you go and get his book: language and time: a historians view and phonology: an introduction in basics concepts both written in 1984, which I have, you will see he states that afrikaans is 90-95% dutch origin. Now if you go and look at his credentials, I think he is qualified enough and has done enough research regarding the subject to make statements like that. thus Jaco, that what was written in Wikipedia is correct. Part of research is to always follow the citations you use and make sure that that what was written is actually correct and that the original person who made the statement have the correct credentials to make such a statement. Now if you think afrikaans is not duct origin, then you don't know your history. O, if you are so dumb to cite the Wikipedia website in your research project during tertiary education, then you don't deserve to have a degree or be on this planet. Always follow the citation in wiki.

  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-04-05 22:55

    This is in the same league as changing names of streets. Another useless minister that is incapable to do his job, and therefore is trying to offset his incompetence with some silly ideas, instead of dealing with real issues and problems in the education department. What bothers me the most is that it does not surprise me anymore

  • william.botha - 2011-04-05 22:56

    Good enough grounds to go and get educated in another country.

      Stroller - 2011-04-05 23:50

      More and more are cold, wet and long winters becoming more and more acceptable.

      flames - 2011-04-06 05:02

      My kids won't be reading for a degree in this country whatever language you want to make it...the more we go along the more useless the degree becomes. Even the SA degrees I hold are getting unminded all the time. Most universities in this country are Marxist-Lennist museums anyhow.

  • FuzzyGorilla - 2011-04-05 22:58

    That's what I said.

      FuzzyGorilla - 2011-04-05 23:14

      Wrong thread sorry.

  • Dids - 2011-04-05 23:00

    And how is Zulu or any other black african language going to help people in business......

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 01:40

      How is afrikaans going to help you in business

      Sybil Alexander - 2011-04-06 04:19

      @Xavier In the European countries many of the languages sound a lot like Afrikaans. Some words are sound exactly the same, especially in Sweden

      Blip - 2011-04-06 05:28

      If you run ANY business with salespersons who speak fluent Afrikaans, you can trade in even the remotest little rural villages anywhere in SA. Your isiXhosa is useless in Mpumalanga and Limpopo and your baVenda or Pedi/Shangaan is as incomprehensible to a Western Capey as what Croatian is. But almost everyone out there in the platteland speaks Afrikaans. Very few speak English.

      Chillepeppa - 2011-04-06 07:36

      @Xavier, the exact same thing can be said for ALL African languages, except for English. Otherwise you will be commenting in your first language now...

      Bwhahaha - 2011-04-06 08:45

      @Xavier Jy verstaan tog wat ek hier sê en so doen talle ander lesers... maar as ek nou in Zulu geskryf het, so mense verby my opmerking gekyk het. Word wakker, klot!

      Shistirrer - 2011-04-06 09:36

      @Xavier: Just because you are too dof to understand Afrikaans, doesn't mean the other 46 million people in SA are just as dof as you. I bet you understand this Afrikaans word: Poephol.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 09:50

      Ja julle dom idiotiese etters veral jy bwhahaha. Julle mis my punt, grow up and get a life. Die enigste rede hoekom die meeste swartes afrikaans ken is omdat dit in hulle keel gatte af gedwing is nie oor vrye keuse nie, so wat is dan verkeerd daaraan dat jy gedwing word om 'n afrika taal leer. is dit nie dieselfde wat aan hulle gedoen is nie. @Sybil, you are correct, that is why I said above that Afrikaans is not an African language but has its roots in Europe. I have clients from sweden, norway, belgium etc etc, here and there you can make out what they are saying if they speak in their mother tongue by just knowing afrikaans and english, but still the languages differ a lot that you can't do any business deals if each of them speak in their own mother tongue. been there done that got he t-shirt. By learning to speak french, german and mandarin will take you way much further in business than afrikaans, well afrikaans will take you nowhere @Blip, sorry don't agree, if you are in the northern cape, yes, well in the northen cape you can't do business if you do not know afrikaans. I work for a big international engineering company and as we have people working for us that came from those rural villages, the interesting fact is, almost none of them know afrikaans, so sorry, you don't know what you are talking about. @Chillepeppa, you are correct, the same goes for all african languages, but that is not the point I try to make.

      tumza - 2011-04-06 10:11

      Xavier In the European countries many of the languages sound a lot like Afrikaans. Some words are sound exactly the same, especially in Sweden. @ Sybil its seems you have sypmtoms of verbal diarrehoa- they sound like afrikaans but they are not afrikaans.Wa hlanya wena sepoqo towe.

      The-man-who - 2011-04-06 11:00

      @Dids, botlaela ga bo fele mo go lena ka nnete. Le na le lehloyo le lentshi kudu batho ke lena.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 12:32

      Shame shistirrer as 'n wit suid afrikaner, dis nou ek, en met afrikaans as my huis taal, ken ek die geskiedenis en hoe dinge werk anders as jy. in elk geval, wat help afrikaans jou, niks. maar dit lyk my jy is te dof om raak te sien wat n mens probeer se, maar wat help dit om met 'n onopgevoede mens soos jy te praat. hardloop na jou anc regering en vra vir geld sodat jy kan gaan studeer.

      alfred - 2011-04-06 21:24

      @Sybil I am Afrikaans speaking, my parents are and my grandparents were. I went to a Afrikaans school. I lived in Sweden and while very few words sound the same, I assure you that a Afrikaans speaking person couldn't ask for the time of day in Swedish. How can Afrikaans be more advantageous over Zulu then?

  • william.botha - 2011-04-05 23:01

    I think Blade should explain the reason for this call. If there is any benefit in this, then explain it to us please.

  • velastardust - 2011-04-05 23:01

    Blade, Self proclaimed darkie. Live with the fact that English is now an African language. Millions on the continent speak it. Has anyone tried online translations English to African ? Epic fail !

  • jaythejetplane - 2011-04-05 23:07

    Our government is too concerned on the smaller issues - If you feel the desire to study another African language or your home language at Uni the option is open to you to do so... However, people choose not to because it is unnecessary... This issue seems very tit-for-tat...

  • Kevin King - 2011-04-05 23:08

    For once I agree with this idiot. If I could redo studying I'd do an Afrikaan language, namely Afrikaans. Luckily I'm already fluent.

      Kiewiet52 - 2011-04-06 02:54

      Klavier- Jy irriteer my nou!!!

      Lana123 - 2011-04-06 07:22

      Ek stem Kiewiet52....ek wil al my hare uit my kop uit begin trek.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 09:53

      Ag julle twee dom etters dits nou keiwiet en lana, grow up and get a life

      Lana123 - 2011-04-07 07:43

      Xavier om ons etters te noem maak jou nie minder irriterend nie...lyk my jy't nie 'n lewe nie want jy sit heeldag en "comment" op News24.

  • Pencilgraffiti - 2011-04-05 23:16

    We can't even get basic education right, now Blade want's to hinder the education process even further. Mister Nzimande, education starts at ground level. concentrate on that. When our primary school education is available and adequate for all THEN aim higher to Gr10, then Gr12 and then Universities. University is not a place for politics, it is a place for further education. In my personal capacity i believe all university education should be taught in English.. So we can learn to work, communicate in the same language and compete on a global level.

  • Jayxer - 2011-04-05 23:18

    Why would we want to learn dieing languages. English will replace all of africa eventually.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-04-05 23:49

      Including Afrikaans, probably.

      Shistirrer - 2011-04-06 09:39

      Wrong. The dominant language in Africa in two decades will be.... wait for it..... Mandarin.

  • Beam me up - 2011-04-05 23:21

    Blade, April 1st was 5 days ago, you are a bit late!

  • Karoobloed - 2011-04-05 23:24

    This would be a better idea at school level. Not so appropriate to use Universities for social engineering.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-04-05 23:53

      It's a proven fact that it is much more difficult to learn an entirely new language after 18 years of age, especially those with grammatical structures not the same as your mothertongue. And trying to learn this while puzzling over Engineering/Biology/Genetics/Law/all the other really difficult subjects would really test the boundaries of most students (as if they didn't have enough to worry about with the subjects themselves) Introducing these at basic school levels WOULD be better, as the mind is more reseptive to new languages then (Still growing and shaping_

      liesl - 2011-04-05 23:53

      They do at primary school level. :) Both my kids did oral exams in isiXhosa in an Afrikaans school. Makes more sense to start with the young 'uns anyway.

      Karoobloed - 2011-04-06 00:21

      Agree with Martin and Liesl. Some of the other contributors here are a bit over the top with their angry remarks. I think it would do wonders for race relations in RSA if Whites can generally speak one of the black languages - not for business, but to to reach out to the hearts of the Black majority. RSA desperately needs interracial good-will. Until the leader of the DA can speak to the African majority in a Black African language I doubt if that party will ever govern in RSA - which is a shame. But do this at school level - everyone should do English, Afrikaans and a Black language.

      Blip - 2011-04-06 05:35

      Helen Zille speaks utterly fluent, perfectly idiomatic isiXhosa. She is completely capable of conducting a six-hour interview in that language with a panel of mother-tongue speakers.

      Chillepeppa - 2011-04-06 07:02

      @Karoobloed, I think all instruction should be in English first, then a second language of your choosing. And no, Afrikaans should NOT be forced on those who do not want it.

      jjhvan - 2011-04-06 08:03

      To reach the hearts of the Black majority...what are you smoking? Tell that to my brother who was brutally murdered.

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-04-06 09:40

      @Chillepeppa - Completely agree. We get angry at a "black" language being forced upon us but still want others to be taught in Afrikaans. I am Afrikaans but i do believe in a country with 11 languages that we are kidding ourselves if we think we can all be taught in our preferred language by a skilled teacher(s).. I do think a second language should be compulsory at school level tho. Another msg to Mr Blade - You can't force Heritage on someone else, it is a choice

      Shistirrer - 2011-04-06 09:42

      @Blip: True that about our Helen. But did you know that Julius Malema speaks utterly effluent, perfectly idiotic English?

      tumza - 2011-04-06 10:15

      @jjhvan- did all smoking black people kill your brother, i dont think so,i am deeply sorry that you brother was taken away from you in such a horrific way-but why are you blaming all black people for his death, you need some serious help as you are danger to yourself and black people.

  • me - 2011-04-05 23:28

    What was the 1976 riots about again?

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-04-05 23:33

    Why not Chinese - it will be worth 100x more financially for a person?

  • johnlocke - 2011-04-05 23:33

    How many scientific journals are published in African languages? How many textbooks? I can understand this is an emotional issue for some, but the pragmatic approach would be to improve students' English skills so they can access the knowledge out there!

      Bwhahaha - 2011-04-06 08:52

      I agree. The fact of the matter is that there is a ton of technological and scientific writings in English, thus you learn in English. How much work has to be done to get this knowledge over into an African language. Who is gonna do it? No, it is easier to learn English, and more beneficial.

  • hookahkid - 2011-04-05 23:38

    Assuming the isiZulu-English translation is accurate, what I find rather worrying are the constant references to an "us" and a "them". Why does the ANC leadership continue to polarize our society? His motivation for a compulsory black language should be business-driven, not this tit-for-tat "if we have to do this, you have to do that" nonsense. In other words, if your market speaks Zulu, make sure you can too.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-04-05 23:39

    This should be about money and finance. Blade Nzimande, English is an international business language. I'd rather learn Chinese, French or German - in that order than a South African tribal language. It will mean very little for me. With Chinese I can do business in the world's second most important economy. Why should I learn Zulu? Or something like that? How will I gain financially? I'm already screwed with AA. Now you want to screw me further? Teach me something of value, that will bring in money for myself, my family and my country. Something of real value.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-04-05 23:54

      I'd rather learn Japanese, to be frank, but your point is very valid.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 10:00

      @Nasdaq You are correct, the thing is, if you read the article, you will see it is because they have/had to learn afrikaans, even if they don't want to, now they want to do the same with an african language to us. it is not benifical to you or to me. rather they go out and also teaching people to speak french, mandarin and german

  • Notrax123 - 2011-04-05 23:41

    Just an other grand plan that will end up with the "whites" enroling at universaties outside of SA. Why not level the playing fields - why not enforce ALL 11 official languages, that would ensure the survival of ALL the languages. Put that in yor pipe and smoke it, instead of that Khaki Bos - before you make such utterly ridiculous statements.

      Nasdaq7 - 2011-04-05 23:45

      You can see the ANC is becoming the National Party, day by day.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-04-05 23:51

    If they told me, you have a choice of a compulsory language: Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Zulu, Portuguese, Arabic. Then I will say yes. That's a great idea: that will help our people do business better. I will accept that. But Zulu alone - is like forcing Afrikaans on people. It will only drive people from studying at our universities. This is what the NP did: force Afrikaans down everyone's throats.

      croix - 2011-04-06 06:33

      Isn't that why quite a few of the old NP politicians joined the ANC? The autocracy shines through more and more as we go along.

  • Mark - 2011-04-05 23:58

    Please guys correct me if I'm wrong but I reckon African languages in South Africa are not capable to speak numbers. In fact they don't seem to have their own words as far as numeracy is concerned and they borrow the numbers from English. On top of that, African languages in RSA don't seem to have a clue as far as the notion and concept of time is concerned!!

      tumza - 2011-04-06 10:17

      Where did you get that from Mark- this is what Blade is talking about,your domestic worker from township speaks afrikaans just to impress you-get you facts straight before you make absurd statements.

      4daluvofSA - 2011-04-06 10:44

      Mark......Mark.....Mark...stop smoking that thing.

      Mark - 2011-04-06 13:10

      @Tumsa, I've picked it up by talking to African-speaking people in English. I understand very little Afrikaans but I do like very much the words "lekker and gatvoll" @4daluvoSA. I do enjoy very much my Cuban Cigars handed over to me by the very Fidel Castro himself. I also enjoy my beloved Russian Soviet Vodka and my Mexican Tequila!!!!!!!!!

      4daluvofSA - 2011-04-06 15:35

      ...ok then just don't mix it all at once as you can see the results above.

      Mark - 2011-04-06 18:04

      @4daluvoSA. You should try my foolproof recipe my friend. The results speak for themselves. And you will be able to see clearly everything around you!!!. Please try it and you will be a changed man!!!!. Don't eat chilli and drink vodka and tequila at the same time otherwise you will end up having your backside like a proud Japanese flag!!!!!. It happened to me once and it's extremely excruciating!!!!!

  • LUFC - 2011-04-06 00:03

    April fools was last friday

  • The_Realist - 2011-04-06 00:03

    seems the african't national circus has been reading Verwoed's "racism for dummies" book!

      The_Realist - 2011-04-06 00:09

      or else sphincter tonguing the great unwashed for ayencee votes...

      Andrew - 2011-04-06 10:06

      Bhahaha ... brilliant!

  • Changes - 2011-04-06 00:06

    My high school days in the 70 - tees had the option of Zulu, Xosa, German etc.. which thousands chose.... Nou wat is die moer se pluk...??? Ohhh come to think of it,, maybe so all can understand what an Eagle is (AHGLE) Bird - (BHERD)and so on... we have all seen the e-mails....

  • Pragmatist - 2011-04-06 00:15

    This is petty narrow minded crap. ENGLISH is the global language of business, NOT an African language. Who is going to give you a job in NY because you can speak Isizulu?

  • Waynne-Edward - 2011-04-06 00:19

    What bull. I'm completing my Aeronautical Engineering degree this year so at least I won't have to worry about this kak. What use is Zulu in any scientific degree anyways? All documentation is in English as it's the international language and we work with ALOT of foreigners. I for one have always had a learning disability when it comes to languages. I can't even speak Afrikaans and barely passed it even though I had to do it at school. To think that I would have never been able to complete my studies because I can't learn Xhosa if This was introduced a few years ago makes me praise god and helps to motivate my decision for wanting to immigrate next year. Nice one Blade, you are helping the 'brain drain' of our country to exponentiate along with all the lost capital in state subsidised funding which helps millions to afford to study.

      Blip - 2011-04-06 11:41

      A Swedish aeronautical engineer can quite competently work through any project entirely in his native Swedish -- ask the people at SAAB. Ditto the Italians at Aermacchi or Agusta. Or the French as Dassault or Airbus. Or the Japanese at Mitsubishi. Or an Afrikaner at Denel. There really isn't any insistence on ANY of these engineers to be fluent English speakers. If your language has developed its full technical academic lexicon (as Afrikaans managed to do inside under 30 years) your engineers will all be engineering away in their mother tongue.

      Koos - 2011-04-07 15:23

      @Wayne-Edward bye bye you will be so missed in South Africa, you are so special Wayne,

  • Waynne-Edward - 2011-04-06 00:31

    Actually on 2nd thought, this is nothing more than an attack on white people to get votes from racist black people. Who doesn't speak an African language (excluding Afrikaans of course) and is also black? Either foreigner students (and yes, there are LOADS of them at our universities) or whites. This is just typical ANC racism propaganda to get the uneducated to believe that whites are the devil and voting DA means you are voting to bring apartheid back. This is aimed at giving the illusion that the ANC truly cares for Africans. I see through you Mr Blake whatever your surname is!!!!!!!!!!

  • PerciusJcksn - 2011-04-06 00:31

    .... perhaps enforce a rule that requires black south africans to learn afrikaans.... oh wait wasn't that part of the reason why the students marched during Sharpeville, maybe my SA history is not so bad after all ... as sharp as a blade .... in this case not

  • snake dr - 2011-04-06 00:34

    Its a good idea, but they don't need to introduce it at tertiary level! Too much is on the plates of tertiary students they still failing with the current curriculum now imagine adding another subject that will even result to more failures! I think this will make it easier for all races to learn the background of others as well as to make ease communications, as Africans we invest time in learning French,Spanish,Italian whils we forget about our home brewed languages! If u implement it let it be at primary and secondary level not varsity! This is not racist but an opportunity to improve the raimbow nation idea that's been there and taken for granted!

  • PerciusJcksn - 2011-04-06 00:37

    Perhaps Blade make it optional .... Mandarine, Cantonese, Hindi, English, isiZulu would be awesome if I got to choose....take my CHOICE and then ur impeding my constitutional rights... unless u want to amend those to u VARK.

  • Ivym - 2011-04-06 00:49

    Quite a few problems with this. Firstly our education system is in such a mess, why don't they put their energy into teaching kids at school first before picking on us tertiary students. Secondly, who is going to teach the African languages considering you wont be taught an African language as all the teachers are never in the classroom, either on strike, on suspension, on leave etc. Thirdly the government has acknowledged that it will take fifteen years to clean up the current mess that they have made of education.

  • Peter - 2011-04-06 00:49

    I think this would really be a good thing! Some blacks often make racist remarks towards white folks without them even knowing it. At least when white people finally get their act together and learn one or two African languages they will know which people are cursing them behind their backs and what they are saying.

      Karoobloed - 2011-04-06 04:14

      Agree, but do it at school level.

      Bwhahaha - 2011-04-06 09:04

      That is the only reason I would learn an African language. Just to see the look on their faces when I tell them I understood what they said to me. Eish!

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 10:03

      @Peter, that is so true, one of my friends know Zulu, and he says, you wall fall on your back if you know what they are saying. @Bwhahah, seems if you finally start to see the light.

      tumza - 2011-04-06 10:18

      You guys also make racists remarks in afrikaans which you know very well that we dont understand.

      mike - 2011-04-06 12:56

      if ignorant ass****s want to speak behind your back, who cares? they can't help their ignorance it is the way they were brought up.

  • mambunyu - 2011-04-06 00:56

    Even from a black person's perspective, the mister's views are useless.

      Koos - 2011-04-07 15:28

      really,mina nginguMzulu Phaqa,Umnumzane Nzimande uqinisile,lelizwe ngelethu thina sikhuluma ulimi lwethu labelungu kufanele bafunde nabo njengba nathi safunda ulimi lwabo

  • ValleeBoi - 2011-04-06 00:59

    We should learn Chinese or an Indian language. Those are the languages of trade and those are the people migrating everywhere Worldwide. English is universal. I would like for you to go overseas and talk Zulu. Don't be disappointed though. Btw, not to be any racist, most of the black people want to speak English, just like the white man as well.

      Koos - 2011-04-07 15:34

      Bullfu**in shite Valle Boi,I speak Zulu and i understand English, why should you make such a statement,if you are up the ass of a whiteman don't think everyone is like you.I speak english with my Zulu accent if you get you get it if no fu** U

  • VidoPro - 2011-04-06 01:02

    If you could find one first world country in the continent of Africa perhaps this would be a good idea but last time I checked, the majority of first world countries speak English. Perhaps French would be a good idea, but then most countries which are first world countries speak English as their main language. Also English is the language in which business is done. If English is not taught in schools as a language for doing business in, the majority of students who cannot speak the language will be considered illiterate and will not stand a chance in the real world. Yet another way that the anc government is focused on raising an illiterate generation who cannot speak or think for themselves hence allowing the anc to run South Africa into a failed state.

      Koos - 2011-04-07 15:44

      @Vido F*** U,majority of Germans speak German,French people speak French,Spain they speak Spanish,the least goes white south african you always think you know everything,French President always speak in French even if he is in UK,same with German Chancellor,which most countries that are first world that speak English?UK,OZ,NZ,CAN,United States

  • ST - 2011-04-06 01:25

    Its no wonder our university degrees aren't being accepted oversees anymore. Even engineering degrees are being declined by Australian skills assessment authorities. Any degree achieved after 2004 isn't worth the paper it was written on and the world is waking up to that fact.

  • tannerakif - 2011-04-06 01:27

    South Africans will have to learn Nigerian! hahaha..what a good joke.. tell me another one. lol

      Bwhahaha - 2011-04-06 09:05

      What about Portugese? In case we want to go to Moz for the holiday.... oh dang, it's not an african language, yet it is all you hear in out neighbouring country...

      abs230653 - 2011-04-06 09:34

      What about French for the Congo, Ivory Coast etc ? They're also African Languages or did Blade forget !

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 10:06

      Well, it will be helpful if you want to be part of organised crime here in south Africa

  • int1m1d4t0r - 2011-04-06 01:36

    Another ploy by government to waste our time and money..and another subtle racist attack on white/indian and coloured people. It is true that ANC has messed up our education system intentionally in order to keep black people under-educated so that they will not gain the education to discern that a t-shirt and a piece of chicken is not a good deal every 4 years. Blade buddy... just because a person can speak the language doesn't mean they will pass it at university! But yeah.. have fun implementing this one...realy... good luck!

  • Francois Pretorius - 2011-04-06 02:13

    Uneducated prick - Afrikaans is an African language (here's a tip - take a map,and have someone show you where people speak Afrikaans in numbers).

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 10:14

      Francois, it seems if you are the uneducated prick. If you trace Afrikaans back to its roots, you will end up in Europe. In countries like Sweden, norway, belgium, netherlands etc etc you can understand them or have a very good idea what they are talking about if they speak in their mother tongue by just knowing afrikaans and english. If I go with your way of thinking then portugese, french, spanish, mandarin, english etc etc is also then african languages because there are a lot of people speaking these languages. But none of these language has their roots in africa thus they aren't african languages. African languages is languages which roots are in Africa. O btw, as there are also people speaking certain african languages in Europe and America does that then mean that these african languages is then European and American also.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 10:25

      @frannie Go and google Afrikaans. Here is something interesting: "Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia" source: "The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three traditional branches of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English, Dutch, Afrikaans, the Frisian languages, and Yiddish" source: Now, west germanic languages is classified as Indo-European, thus afrikaans is european not african. thus francois, go and educate yourself a bit, as you don't know what you are talking about.

      Chillepeppa - 2011-04-06 11:29

      But Xavier, the "spoken natively" part is the pert that is the most important part of all, regardless of its "roots". Met a guy once that was French-Canadian. We were thrown in the mix with a few other nationalities, of which some of the girls were French (from France). He went over to introduce himself, as mucho men tend to do, and were sent running back to base with his tail between his legs, why? Because the french spoken in Canada and probably most of Africa, is NOT the french spoken in France. Due to cultural influences, a new breed of french was born to suit the needs of the region. He could understand what they were saying, because the basics of the language was still the same, but when he actually looked at the differences, he realized that it is not a 2 way street. His dialect contained their basics, while to them it was, well, Greek. The same can be said for Afrikaans. I think a bench mark would be to try and use it, never mind for business, but for general life, if it fails, it's not native. Which I think the case will be for Afrikaans in Europe. Afrikaans might have it's roots in Europe, but it was born in South Africa.

      Xavier - 2011-04-06 13:15

      @chillepeppa Ek verstaan 100% wat jy se, my huis taal is afrikaans. but the thing is, if you go and see how languages are classified, afrikaans is not classified as an african language (even though it is native to south africa an namibia) but as a germanic language which is european. even if the french of the canadians differs from the french in europe, the canadian french is still classified as european. and it is not my opinion it is how it is seen internationally. In my opinion, I think people must go and read up how languages are classified.

      duduzile.dunicz - 2011-04-06 14:09

      Trace English to it's roots and you will end up in the Indus valley in India -does that make English people Indian? Does it make us German or Scandinavian? My dad was Polish but he loved Africa spoke fluent Afrikaans and Sotho and is buried on an Afrikaan farm. All our hard earned savings is in African banks. We are African - and proudly so!

  • casabanderas - 2011-04-06 02:16

    When I went to university in the 60´s in Natal you had to speak Afrikaans as required by the Nat government. Several of my school friends who were technically well skilled could get a degree because they were barred from university for not passing Afrikaans. Firstly if you have a good technical brain you may not be a language person and secondly what´s the point in learning Twana or Pedi if you end up with a carreer in the Cape or another country.

  • BMT - 2011-04-06 02:26

    lol wut? English, period. Scrap every other language at universities. It's the global communication standard. Adding a language course - to what level mind you - on top of some seriously hectic course material is stupid. If Blade isn't careful, one of these days the international community is going to no longer accept degrees from South Africa.