ANC wants new language policy

2012-12-20 17:14

Bloemfontein - The ANC wants the teaching of an indigenous language to be compulsory in all schools, social transformation sub-committee chair Joe Phahla said on Thursday.

"We talking about official languages," he told reporters on the final day the African National Congress national conference in Mangaung.

"Once it is policy, even a school in Waterkloof would have to teach a language such as Tswana, for example."

Phahla said the language would depend on the region where the school was situated. Sesotho would, for example, be taught in the Free State.

Asked about the compulsory singing of the national anthem in schools, committee member Paul Mashatile said no decision was taken.

"We want to promote the singing of the national anthem. We have not yet made it compulsory but in some schools it is being sung daily already."

Mashatile said it was decided that the ANC itself should sing the full national anthem at every meeting to set an example - and not just the part of Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika.

The committee also decided that all cultural practices not in line with the human rights bill should be outlawed.

These included the custom of forced marriages of young girls, among others.

  • dewaldmarais - 2012-12-20 17:19

    Good idea, this will bring our people closer for sure, very positive step.

      wesley.fick - 2012-12-20 17:35

      No, it won't. Breaking the language barrier isn't what we need, the entire education system needs to be sorted out first. And there'll be a serious logistical issue if students move from one are to the other, or if no teacher is able to teach the language effectively. This idea is just a stupid way to mask existing problems and give the government yet another avenue to ruin a child's education.

      joemarshe.push - 2012-12-20 17:37

      It would be nice to be able to speak a third official language, but to learn an indigenous language at school that would be of no importance should you work outside of S.A.,is pointless in my opinion.

      john.morreira.9 - 2012-12-20 17:38

      I wholeheartedly agree dewald. Should have been implemented long ago. BUT maths and science must be the priority.

      jack.trend.3 - 2012-12-20 17:45

      dumb dumb dumb. Firstly, parents will not be able to relocate for as long as their children are in school, unless of course they want to put their children's schooling back a few years. Secondly, there are far more important subjects that should be compulsory. Reminds me when we were forced to learn the oppressor's language in the apartheid days.

      piet.boom.90 - 2012-12-20 17:50


      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 17:53

      Yes, a very good idea. I support that.

      dewaldmarais - 2012-12-20 18:04

      I speak a little Sotho enough to get by. The people I deal with at the grocer, petrol station and my office really appreciate it. I have forged real relationships because of it. Our black countrymen and woman learned english and 'pre-apartheid' afrikaans too. The least we can do is learn and speak at least one language. You should get by with either Zulu, Xhosa or Tswana-Sotho anywhere in our country. Really not that hard, if not at school learn elsewhere.

      sani.ghana.3 - 2012-12-20 19:21

      I know in apartheid the white students learned african languages but today they speak english and afrikans, we only hear african languages in the townships and nothing in the business

      lsfreak - 2012-12-20 20:21

      But it is already compulsory, is English and Afrikaans not indigenous enough... Or must we all learn San/Bushman :/

      louissouthafrica - 2012-12-20 23:10

      Great idea. I wish I could speak a third language. My wife learned South Sotho at School. Being from the West Coast, we never had the opportunity to learn a third language, as only Whites and Cape Coloureds lived in my town. The first language of the region is Afrikaans.

      mark.j.porter.5 - 2012-12-21 04:54

      Agree with you dewald. It makes such a difference when you can communicate with people on their grounds. English speakers always expect everyone to speak English and then we wonder why we have communication issues. Great concept...just needs to be implemented right ~ thats the real issue

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 06:57

      // English speakers always expect everyone to speak English // The world expects you too. English is the world language; UN summits are held in English, big business transactions are usually held in English; the stock exchange is conducted in English; good luck trying to conduct international business transactions between you and China/Japan/UK/US in Tshwane. This move is stupid and, apart from pissing off a lot of students, will achieve nothing.

      henrileriche - 2012-12-21 06:57

      One thing in life, and in history, i learned is, DON'T force your ideas or culture onto others. Didn't Apartheid do something similar? Give people a choice! Don't force Afrikanaans, English, Sotho,Zulu or any other language onto people. I love languages and wish I had a choice to learn another language, but don't force it on me. Period!

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-12-21 07:51

      I also like the idea of learning a third or even a fourth language but an indigenous one? Why not French, Spanish or protégées? Learn a language that will actually mean something to you for the future. You pickup (sometimes to your detriment) the local language over time. Now this suggested action sounds more like a "threat to forced onto you" to me. So what subjects at school do you guys suggest gets dropped out of the curriculum to support this forced third language?

      paulvernonza - 2012-12-21 08:34

      Yes it is all very well learning and African language, but the reality of application is just another story all together. The vocabulary of African languages is not sufficient to describe or even relay technical or scientific concepts, because there are simply no words to describe them. This is just another effort to waste time and resources. Learning an African language is helpful and should be undertaken by everyone, but in really this just another reason why South Africa education system is so pathetic. So please translate the following words "Covalent bonds" "hypotenuse triangle" "Algebraic equations" "Dodecahedron" "polynomial long division" "ionosphere" any takers!!! Lost in translation ?

      paulvernonza - 2012-12-21 09:02

      Thumbs down but you don't say a word my point exactly. I have no problem with being wrong. Mistakes is how we learn. Criticism I can take. I am not that fragile that I will melt when confronted with another opinion.

      BulletProof. - 2012-12-21 11:06

      Well in the future we stop talking English in our business meetings and if there is any foreigner around he must learn local language, CRAZY even on ex Portuguese colony's the official language is Portuguese, there is a big difference between dialects and a language, this is another attempt towards dictatorship.

      craig.johnston.3348 - 2012-12-21 11:13

      How about our dear government focuses on getting children to get more than 33% and know what 100/20 is before trying to introduce new language policies! The lack of basic logic baffles me!

      gordon.trevat - 2012-12-21 16:43

      Considering the status of Chinese as Previously Disadvantaged/BEE, does this mean that Mandarin would be classed as a native language? Or would Khoisan override the rest considering it is the ultimate native language in SA?

      heathway.master - 2012-12-21 17:35

      Very positive step. I would personally have loved to have been given the chance of learning an African language. Communication is the essence of a united nation.

      jan.roodt1 - 2012-12-21 20:16

      I feel English should be the first language in all schools with the option to have any of the other languages (or your home language) as a second language. This way everybody in this this country will at least have one common language to communicate in and it will also be a language which they can use outside of SA.

      brucemgiles - 2012-12-22 08:05

      wish that was implemented during my schooling, would have made my adult life much easier in SA. Good idea, but definately shouldnt be the priority. 1+x has to come first.

      wwrer.ww - 2012-12-22 19:59

      Learn how much they hate us and our technology.

      fidelity.mcoshi - 2012-12-23 12:23

      Race relations is at the heart of SA'survival. Many of you bemoan Africans on these threads for supporting the ANC, even though pretty much many of you have never truly understood why this is so. How could you possibly know when the vast majority of you do not speak any indigenous language, never listen to indigenous radio/tv and only interact with Africans in a master and servant relationship, often mocking our English accents, as if all of us should be speaking like the Queen. Afrikaans is still compulsory in most township schools, and yet there's been no significant resistance from Africans, who must pass it as a language in order to progress to the next grade. Learn to walk in our shoes for a while, and you might understand your fellow countrymen better!

      Helen Brenkman - 2013-08-30 13:41

      What would lead you to that conclusion? The schools cannot cope with the current situation! Do you have any idea how often kids at school sit in a "sub" class because there aren't teachers ect ect.....We can't put the government's stupid ideas on our innocent children's shoulders!!!

  • solo.mathe.5 - 2012-12-20 17:21

    Yes please. Its about time this was enforced in all schools. The singing of the national anthem should also be looked at. A lot of whites can't sing the Nkosi sikelela part, and a lot of Africans can't sing the afrikaans part either.... And I'm one of them...

      matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-12-20 17:31

      Most young people can sing it all since most of us had to sing it at school assemblies. It's mainly the older generations that battle to sing all parts.

      matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-12-20 17:31

      But it's still a good idea nonetheless

      christelle.theron.3 - 2012-12-20 17:44

      Solo, I agree with you. It has always been practice to sing the Anthem in schools. Why not now - it is a beautiful song and we should be proud of it. And about learning an indigenous language, absolutely. I wish I had learned one. It only enriches one - takes nothing away from a person. We are always looking for reasons to unite - why shoot down such an idea??

      Colleen - 2012-12-20 21:58

      I grew up in this country and never knew all the words to Die Stem,[English or Afrikaans] and dont know the words to the new national anthem either...

      rupesh.hari.7 - 2012-12-20 22:02

      I can sing the whole thing, but I do struggle with the Sotho part. I can sing it as long as someone else is singing it with me haha. I must say the Sotho part is my favorite part too.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-12-21 08:21

      @Solo: Now I have a problem with the word "force" within that "enforce" statement. I'm qualified in multiple fields within the information technology sector. Once I attended a basic lecture in Afrikaans. Now my mother tong in Afrikaans BUT I had no idea that the guy was talking about 98% of the time. So did most who attended the lecture. My next lecture was Virtual machining and cloud computing concerning software development and database integration within the cloud environment. I'd love to hear that lecture in Afrikaans. Can you imagine what that lecture would be like in Zulu? I don't even think it is possible. Once again I ask, what subject do you suggest gets dropped from the curriculum to be replaced by this forced third language that is of no value except within South Africa? Let's face it, the brightest and best students will most probably NOT stay in South Africa. Why force a third language. Rather give the students the option.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-21 09:57

      Well suppose it's time to learn then

  • steele.oyle - 2012-12-20 17:21

    This is great news!!

  • mlucejko - 2012-12-20 17:22

    I think this idea is 'pretty dumb'!! It's OK to learn your 'home language' and use it whenever you want.. But the Business Language of the world is English !!

      christelle.theron.3 - 2012-12-20 17:46

      Yes, that is true. But people in Spain still learn Spanish, people in Greece still learn Greek. This is not going to make us poorer, only enable us to communicate in a 3rd language - what is negative about it?

      sharmay.thuynsma - 2012-12-20 17:53

      @ Christelle: because Spanish and Greek are ONE language and it's like Afrikaans here. They use it for business there. you are talking about 9 other languages here beside English and Afrikaans. Mass confusion if you ask me.

      christelle.theron.3 - 2012-12-20 18:01

      Sharmay - the world business language was the point of this specific stream. If you think about it logically, without emotions coming into it, it is a good idea. We are sitting with 40 million indigenous people in our country and I think is the educated minority we should reach out a hand and agree to learn another language. ( on a lighter note, if for anything, I will know when they gossip about me:-)

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-20 18:46

      Did anyone say the teaching of the english or business language as you put it will stop? I must have missed that part

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-12-20 19:47

      Learning another language, any other language has benefits across the board when it comes to education. The link is to a study conducted to determine the effects of learning a second language in schools. These results have been identified throughout the world and a recent study conducted on interpreters being trained for the army indicated astounding growth of the brain in keys areas responsible for logic and higher level thinking. Th only downside that I can think of would be if they made it a compulsory pass subject - in other words you will be held back if you don't pass it, this would obviously hinder any form of movement and I would imagine it would easily be declared unconstitutional.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 20:55

      When you do business in much of semi-urban rural South Africa, you'll conduct it in the language spoken by the people living there. And that will NOT be English. "English is the language of business" really only applies to large-scale importing and exporting trade, but not to the daily buying and selling of everyday household groceries. Those millions of transactions are done in the vernacular of the area you live in.

      lsfreak - 2012-12-20 22:47

      All that they are saying is that every learner has to learn one "African" language ie Xhosa, Zulu, Venda... And if thats the case "Afrikaans" should count has it's only spoken here in SA :/ But then again they're trying their dambdes to get rid of it :/

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 06:59

      My biggest issue with this is the "compulsory" part. They should make it compulsory for schools for OFFER a third language but forcing someone to learn a language they mostly likely don't want to learn is just stupid.

  • Ayanda Welcome Sibisi - 2012-12-20 17:23


      squeegee.pilot - 2012-12-20 18:58

      Raally? So when your child is in grade 4 and you want to move from KZN to Gauteng to take up your new job, what happens to your child? Suddenly they have to learn a new language. Then your employer gives you a promotion to CT two years later... DUMB!! Back to keeping people in homelands...

      anthony.m.sheffield - 2012-12-20 19:54

      never mind changing province - my son moved from one school in Alberton to another about 3 kms away - one taught N Sotho, the other S Sotho

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-21 09:55

      Well you burnt looted and destroyed back in the 60's when the apartheid government tried it. Afrikaans is after all an indigenous language too

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 22:04

      No it isn't, kortbroek. Its origins are in Dutch.

  • shaylene.stenger - 2012-12-20 17:24

    I forsee a problem, what happens if my child goes to a primary school where they teach zulu and then we relocate to an area where I send my child to a primary school that teaches tswana? Will my child fail that subject?

      trevor.bush.9655 - 2012-12-20 17:41

      ANC does not think, they full of people that just talk and steal...they only do one thing well, divert attention from the real issues that they promise time n time again will be rectified...Zuma is back again...that tells us all we need to know of the ANC.

      shaylene.stenger - 2012-12-20 17:59

      Agreed! Just like maths and english you need the fundementals. How is my child suppose to pass a subject if there are no fundementals ie if I send my child to a school where they have been taught zulu for 5 years and then I have to shift schools where now they teach tswana how is my child suppose to pass when tswana hasn't been taught from the beginning?

  • charl.cornelissen - 2012-12-20 17:24

    Start teaching, appoint disciplined teachers, hold them accountable for their behavior and results and pay the teachers properly. Then you wouldn't need any knee jerk measures. And you'll have proper education going.

  • Ritz40 - 2012-12-20 17:25

    Which languages are indigenous? Sotho, Zulu, Tswana, Afrikaans, Xhosa?

      PointBlank - 2012-12-20 17:41

      yes, all those you mentioned...

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 20:58

      Not Afrikaans.

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 07:01

      Womba: I don't think you know what indigenous means. Short definition: "Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place.". While Afrikaans is a mixture of several languages including Dutch and Finnish, it originated in South Africa. It's native to South Africa and therefore indigenous to the country. English, however, is not.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 22:16

      Afrikaans did not originate in Africa. It originated in Europe, as Dutch, and then the Dutch people changed a word here, a phrase there, adopted a borrowing or 500 here, changed a pronunciation in between, modified a spelling somewhere, simplified a syntax now and then and so, over 300 years, they altered Dutch into what is Afrikaans. It's like the Portuguese spoken in Angola, Mozambique and Brazil -- quite a way removed from the Portuguese used in Lisbon. Yet still mutually-comprehensible 500 years later. Genuinely indigenous African languages (Zulu, Tswana, Khoi, Swahili, Mandingo etc) all originated somewhere in Africa not from some borrowed exotic language but tens of thousands of years ago out of the grunts and vocalisations of primitive cavemen and bushmen. Exactly the same way that European languages originated from their populations of cavemen. THAT is indigenous.

      nico.dejongh.90 - 2012-12-22 00:14

      New languages develop as different cultures meet and mix. For instance, about 700 different languages are spoken in London. In some suburbs of big cities like London and New York, English is now a second language. The same is happening – or has taken place – in cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and Singapore. Already the Internet and mobile phone texting are influencing the development of languages as people communicate freely across cultural and regional borders. New languages are bound to develop out of these massive meetups. Afrikaans the youngest language and the Khoisan has the oldest genes on this planet so don't destroy our heritage for history can not be erased.

  • peter.horn.3576 - 2012-12-20 17:25

    Bull site... what the f... would an indigenous language help -- we can communicate with one another in English.. rather bloody concentrate on science and maths you bloody corrupt imbeciles.

      surfing.sam.9 - 2012-12-20 17:36

      I was torn on the idea, maybe good maybe not, then i read your comment, well said, make all schools English and concentrate on science, maths, computer science etc.

      andrew.crawford.50 - 2012-12-20 18:03

      @me-again Let them at least concentrate on the 3 r's first. i.e Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic first

      rupesh.hari.7 - 2012-12-20 22:04

      I am curious. Instead of calling it 3Rs, why don't they say RAW or WAR?

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 07:04

      And then we can give them GUNS - Geography and the UNderstanding of Science.

  • Tiyani - 2012-12-20 17:25

    Can't they fix the poor excuse of an education first? Hope that policy was discussed intensively

  • osmaseko - 2012-12-20 17:27

    Its about time

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-12-20 17:31

    Surely this is not an education priority at the moment, there are much bigger concerns in that department to address.

  • thethird.wors - 2012-12-20 17:32

    Yes but can you consider "CORRUPT AS ****" an official language?

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 07:05

      The ANC does. :/

  • emile.vanrayner.7 - 2012-12-20 17:33

    the decision looks nice on paper, which is really all that matters. in practice this will fail on nearly all levels, and be an immense waste of time. besides, what I REALLY dont like is how they are "enforcing" things now...

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-12-20 17:34

    Good idea - please ensure that teachers are properly trained to teach the 'indigenous language' relevant to the specific areas and deploy the teachers to the schools at State expense and not for the Governing bodies of the schools to come up with funds to pay these teachers.

  • mack.attack.9678 - 2012-12-20 17:34

    I like this a lot. Most people don't leave their home province so it would be great if the local languages (e.g Afrikaans, English and Sesotho in the Free State) were made compulsory at school for students.I also agree with the teaching of a positive nation identity through everyone knowing and undertanding their national anthem, flag etc.

  • xanavin.vonbuchenroder - 2012-12-20 17:35

    It's by time. English, Afrikaans and a 3rd local language must be compulsory for all.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:06

      There are six subjects taught in any high-school pupil's daily school time-table. At present two of these six are languages (usually English and Afrikaans). If you add a third (indigenous African) regional language to the two already compulsory, it means that half of every child's timetable is spent learning languages. So, where will the time come from to study the other vitally-necessary subjects like maths, science, accounting etc? And how can you fit it the option subjects that the growing child feels an interest in: say, art, music, history, woodwork, French, etc?

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-12-20 21:33

      @womba, the British education systems requires kids to undertake 8-10 subjects through the first 4 years of high school, 3-4 for the 2 years thereafter so I am pretty sure our kids would manage it. Besides learning languages makes large positive impacts on pretty much every other subject.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 01:13

      In Britain there is NO compulsion to study even a second language, let alone a third one. The issue here really isn't about the desirability -- nobody would seriously dispute that learning more than one language is desirable -- but the issue is about COMPULSION. Adding a compulsory third language means that half of your school day every day is occupied with compulsory language learning.

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-12-21 05:14

      @womba, I don't think I was clear enough. You claim that they will spend half their day learning languages but that is only true if they only take 6 subjects, my point was that other places in the world do way more than 6 subjects and the kids manage fine so there is no reason ours could not do the same, thus they would not be spending half their time doing languages but more like a third.

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 07:07

      // Besides learning languages makes large positive impacts on pretty much every other subject. // Rubbish. Sotho (sp) had as much impact on my other subjects as a fly has hitting your car. That is to say, none at all.

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 07:09

      // kids manage fine so there is no reason ours could not do the same, // Many of our kids struggle with just one subject (woodwork for example); giving them more subjects could cause more harm than good.

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-12-21 11:42

      @joe, the benefits that learning additional languages have on all other aspects of education are widely proven, the actual language learnt is ultimately irrelevant since it is the learning process that makes the difference. Do you have any proof to back your assertions??

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 12:13

      My assertion is based on my experience at school. Me taking Sotho/Afrikaans in school and it not having bugger all positive impact on any of my other subjects (as I said); in fact having to take two additional languages just increased the pressure come exam time. I was a student who believed in studying for those subjects that held real world applicable relevance (maths, science, English etc); everything else was an inconvenience that I had to study for and as a result pulled me down or, in some cases, caused me to fail (49% for Afrikaans and I failed the year; How does Afrikaans help me in my career? It doesn't. Not in the slightest). I'd be interested to read some this research you said was done - I won't believe a word of it, but I do want to read it, for academic purposes if nothing else. Did you know that a child learns a language best from the age they start talking? The older a person gets the harder it becomes to learn a language. So unless these children are taught English, Afrikaans and one other language from the moment they start school this entire thing is doomed to failure.

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-12-21 16:14

      @joe, here is a link to a study, in it they refer to probably 20 other studies producing the same outcomes. You will notice higher up this page that I mentioned the only downside would be if they try to make it a compulsory pass subject like was done previously with Afrikaans etc. Let me know what you think about whether or not learning additional languages may actually have helped you without you even realsing it.

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-12-21 16:15

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-12-21 16:19

      @joe, of course we learn best when we are young but research conducted in Scandanavia on army interpreters being taught a new language suggest that your claim to be unable to learn a language properly later in life is flawed, they observed surprising brain growth in these candiates. I will try to find the link to that study too if you like.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 22:33

      If there are six hours of instruction of every teaching day, and lessons last an hour each, this is fixed. You could have twelve subjects and 30 minute lessons in each, if you wished. But you'd only progress at half the rate in any and all of those subjects. And if you devote half your teaching and learning time to learning compulsory languages, there's just no getting away from the fact that you're only left with half the school day to fit in everything else. The question is: is it really worth devoting half of all the teaching time just to learning compulsory languages? Or is this overkill? There's no doubt that learning a SECOND language is of enormous general intellectual-cognitive benefit. But it really doesn't matter much WHAT that second language is -- French, Latin, Xhosa, Afrikaans, whatever. What is very much in doubt is whether there is anywhere near as much benefit in learning a THIRD or fourth or subsequent language. So the idea of making it compulsory at the expense of other, more beneficial skills, is highly questionable. It would now be only an ideological-political decision rather than a purely educational one.

      solo.mathe.5 - 2012-12-22 10:47

      Some schools do english and an african language already, some with afrikaans as a third language but this is not as common anymore. So, I'm assuming these schools would have to choose a third african language to take on. This will be great for the schools in kzn and other provinces where black kids only know one african language due to their areas not having a lot of people speaking the other african languages.

  • Shane Kelly - 2012-12-20 17:36

    first get the std of education up, concentrate on mathematics and science, where in the real world are you going to use these languages besides africa and by the way 99% of people talk English anyway, i personally think its a wast of time.

  • chadjason.wilson - 2012-12-20 17:36

    More text books, more qualifed teachers required, higher costs, lower capacity for cross cultural communication. The apartheid government used language as a way of dividing tribes..... Surely the teaching of one first/ second language is more important.

  • Phelamanga - 2012-12-20 17:37

    There are a number of major problems with this, although it is a very good idea. Firstly, there are not enough teachers to teach these languages. Secondly, native speakers of the languages must be taught at home language level. You can't have a child getting 98% for, say, isiXhosa, and 20% for English if the language of teaching is English. However, indigenous languages can be taught in the same way as English is taught to foreigners - for communication rather than for literature and poetry. While native speakers learn the language as a home language with literature, poetry, and so on. Another problem is where languages are similar, like isiZulu, isiXhosa and siSwati, in that it become difficult to define the level on which the learner must be placed. Good idea, but difficult to implement.

  • jonas.mbedzi - 2012-12-20 17:38

    as long as it is not the rebirth of group areas act

  • trevor.bush.9655 - 2012-12-20 17:39

    This is EXACTLY what the National Party did.....called indoctrination no matter which way you look at it...and look what it did for South begin by manipulating history to promote the "victors", the norm anywhere in the world,remove any recognitionh of the past..lokk what they did at the Cape Town Castle recently...then you fiddle with the education system...everyone has already forgetton the weekly Cadets we did, every morning National Anthem standing at attention. You believ this will "bring us together", dream on, it's not a form of "nation building" ,it's a way for the government to control the people and the ANC is desperate to stay in power so it will now bring back the old Apartheid tactics...look at the miners killed...look at the Secrecy Bill...etc...wonder when they are going to bring back the Yellow many of you have forgotten the apst and have become NUMB to the present state of SA...goodluck

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-21 08:36

      No, the Nats enforced A PARTICULAR LANGUAGE ON ALL SCHOOLS, even if it wasn't their home language. It was forced on ALL CLASSES as MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION. This is about TAKING A CLASS TO LEARN A LANGUAGE.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-21 10:26

      WTF are you talking about?

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 22:50

      Tienie, your mother lied to you. In the 1930s the government of South Africa had been run by Afrikaners (Smuts/Hertzog) for twenty years already. Afrikaners therefore ran the educational policy of every school in the country and right from the creation of Union in 1910 Dutch (and later officially Afrikaans) was fully accepted as the medium of instruction in all schools who chose to teach in this language-medium. Nowhere were dunce-caps worn. Prior to Union in 1910, during the Rhodes-Milner era, the British colonial authorities conducted an "anglicisation" policy and there were indeed steps taken in schools to discourage the use of Afrikaans/Dutch on the playgrounds. But that was back in the 19th century. It had ceased to be the practice by 1910 already. Your mother -- if she really was at school back in the 1930s she'd be 100 years old now and you must now be about 80 -- probably told you of what had befallen her mother (your grandmother) a full generation earlier. If indeed any of it had happened at all. Old folks love mythology and they tend to make things up.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-22 09:35

      Tienie, I HAVE a clue. But that was not what I was talking about above when you responded. Talk about the cheese falling out of your sandwich.

  • jacyjays.letsoalo - 2012-12-20 17:40

    I agree with the ANC on this one, we must be a rainbow nation that understand each other. I believe it will be good for the next generation to learn how to speak different languages. English to us is a foreign language that comes from England and I always say English is not an indegenous language. However the programme must be cautiously involved and amongst the issues is to try to have a proper education system, hire more teachers and even revive the old teachers colleges. Atleast the conference is trying to balance the demographics of our country, atleast we may have less immigrants to the Western Cape..

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:13

      Nobody in SA would ever claim English as an "indigenous language" unless, of course, they are in England, where it IS the indigenous language. "Indigenous" does not automatically mean "better" either: in many cases the non-indigenous (a.k.a. "exotic") is better. And in other cases the exotic is worse.

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 07:38

      // we must be a rainbow nation that understand each other. // English is just fine then. English can help you function in the world outside of the country. One of the local languages will not.

  • willem.dehaan.94 - 2012-12-20 17:40

    Afrikaans is an indigenous language.

      adam.gardener.12 - 2012-12-20 17:54

      Mandarin will be very useful soon.

      casper.alant - 2012-12-20 18:47

      That is my thought exactly, but then they shouldn't have an issue with "even a school in Waterkloof" as I am sure it offers Afrikaans as one of its languages?

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:21

      Afrikaans is a Western Germanic language. The roots of Afrikaans are linguistically firmly set in Europe, not Africa. Modern Afrikaans is quite easily mutually-intelligible with Flemish, West-Friesian and Dutch. It has no mutual-intelligibility with ANY genuinely-indigenous African language, such as Zulu or Xhosa, Sotho or Tswana or with the languages of the San and Khoi. Afrikaans is no more "indigenous" than the iconic 300 year old European oak-trees planted as acorns all over Stellenbosch. They're still a European tree genus, even after many centuries.

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 07:59

      Womba: Afrikaans IS ingenious to South Africa in the sense it wasn't transplanted here by some other people. It's origins are of Western Germanic descent but the language itself didn't seed or come to fruition in Europe. It was bastardized in South Africa by uneducated Dutch (and other) settlers; Afrikaans - while a derivative of Dutch - is unique to South Africa. Just because it doesn't have any mutual-intelligibility doesn't mean it's not of local crop. English stems from West Germanic and Scottish has both Gaelic and Germanic variations. Welsh stems from the Brythonic branch of Celtic and Irish from the Goidelic languages (one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic languages). Despite the obvious mutual origins between Welsh and Irish (or English and Scottish) they are geographical separated and indigenous to their respective regions. If you want to follow a languages family tree to declare them non-indigenous then English is not indigenous to England as it was brought by Germanic invaders from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands but there isn't an Englishman alive who would say that English is not native (indigenous) to England. The same applies here. Afrikaans stems from Dutch which is a West Germanic language but it is a local and homegrown South African language and by extension indigenous to our country.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-21 08:37

      Definitely, if you look at the words used from Afrikaans IN the other local languages! Words like Petolotho, Borotho, Meleke and so forth.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 22:57

      If your linguistic roots are in Europe, you're just not indigenous. It's really that simple. Just as how those grand 350 year old oak trees all over Stellenbosch -- grown in Africa right from tiny acorns -- are not indigenous African trees. They're, at best "indigenised". In reality, they will always be European Oak trees.

      nico.dejongh.90 - 2012-12-21 23:47

      New languages develop as different cultures meet and mix. For instance, about 700 different languages are spoken in London. In some suburbs of big cities like London and New York, English is now a second language. The same is happening – or has taken place – in cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and Singapore. Already the Internet and mobile phone texting are influencing the development of languages as people communicate freely across cultural and regional borders. New languages are bound to develop out of these massive meetups.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-22 09:36

      Wamba, Nguni's linguistic roots lie up North. You seriously want to tell me THEY ARE indigenous by YOUR argument?

  • PointBlank - 2012-12-20 17:43

    Sort out math and science first! Then lets get languages going...

  • eric.f.moloi - 2012-12-20 17:44

    I know certain ppl will oppose these move and fight it with costs in court,its time to compromise

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-20 18:47

      Just another guy, people in SA have the right to freedom of expression, unlike in Zim where you clearly come from

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-20 19:14

      just another guy, if you are from SA, why are you so intolerant of other views and go around ordering others to shut up? Do you think SA is Zimbabwe? Either that or you are an immigrant from Zim

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-20 19:27

      justanotherguy, 8ta :)

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-12-21 07:57

      @Eric: But why be forced to learn a third language that is utterly useless as soon as you step outside if South Africa?

  • martin.pearce.3762 - 2012-12-20 17:44

    Only third language choice I had at school was between French and Latin. Latin is a dead language and we had an 'ooh la la' looking French teacher. what a choice.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-12-21 07:59

      French is a very confusing language to me but pretty much everyone speaks "body language". GGgrrrrrrr. Especially female French teachers.

  • lynette.solz - 2012-12-20 17:45

    They are missing the point!!!! keeping their own people ignorant, the world language is English, who can comunicate in the modern world without English as a first language. When everyone one is educated and have a good living they will sing the anthem in every language, because they will be proud of their country.

  • jonathan.crisp.9 - 2012-12-20 17:45

    Good Idea, but first bring back discipline and good behavior in Schools. Kids are walking around with Fire arms, knives, have no respect ect. ANC lead the way with the National Anthem. GOD Bless Africa I will also recommend that the OUR FATHER Prayer should be reintroduced....regardless of religion....

  • gregor.schmitz1 - 2012-12-20 17:47

    These languages will not generate jobs for south africa... India and the Philippines have call centers that are 2000 to 5000 seats big because of the huge pool of english speaking and english literate population. We do not have that because close to the majority of our population struggles writing in english or is not fluent. These call center consultants do not just do customer support but create a whole lot of other jobs around them from legal to accounting to online nurses, designers, software developers and architects... The medium is is nothing South Africans or the French for that matter can change anymore and the sooner we all accept it the better..In my opinion countries like France are already stagnating because they try to fight this too hard. English needs to be the priority and the primary language at schools, at universities and in business..You do not have to like English to accept this.

  • amir.i.warraich - 2012-12-20 17:47

    Fair idea, bring people closer together and language is the key!

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 12:15

      I don't know about you, but I felt no closer to Afrikaans people or to Sotho speaking people while learning their languages.

  • Sharmay - 2012-12-20 17:48

    I think they were smoking something hectic at the ANC conference. First get the primary education skills in order (maths, science etc) before you start messing with something that is not broken. I will not teach my son another language because the government says so. English and Afrikaans are my family's 'indiginous' languages. I'm sure that 350 years of Afrikaans and English history count too. Besides, what happens in places like JHB and Pretoria.. Going to have a massive fight deciding which Bantu language to use there aren't you?

  • gregor.schmitz1 - 2012-12-20 17:48

    These languages will not generate jobs for south africa... India and the Philippines have call centers that are 2000 to 5000 seats big because of the huge pool of english speaking and english literate population. We do not have that because close to the majority of our population struggles writing in english or is not fluent. These call center consultants do not just do customer support but create a whole lot of other jobs around them from legal to accounting to online nurses, designers, software developers and architects... The medium is is nothing South Africans or the French for that matter can change anymore and the sooner we all accept it the better..In my opinion countries like France are already stagnating because they try to fight this too hard. To some extend they can afford to...we cannot..we need jobs. In order to accept this we do not have to like English.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 22:59

      Education isn't about generating jobs. Education is about getting an education. It's an end in itself.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-22 09:37

      Yes, and trust me, without education you can't be an entrepreneur. At least not in the corporate sense. You might be able to sell sweets at a table next to a metro train station.

  • carolyn.simshandcock - 2012-12-20 17:53

    For heavens sake, why? Surely just English, Maths, Science, Computer Science before anything else? Everyone in SA should know how to sing the anthem IN FULL.

      Fezile Ntontela - 2012-12-20 18:07

      so as to promote and preserve our identity just like what other countries around the world are doing

      andrew.crawford.50 - 2012-12-20 18:30

      The Educators (Teachers) cannot even get Reading , Writing and Arithmetic through to the Learners (Pupils).

  • sbarnard2 - 2012-12-20 17:54

    Black languages were taught in schools till the anc came along..why make a big story about it now...I was taught Sotho at school...wakeup anc..

      Fezile Ntontela - 2012-12-20 18:04

      not as languages but as a medium of instruction

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:25

      Sotho is rather ill-equipped to be a medium of instruction for accounting, geography, economics, calculus etc.

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 08:25

      I'd like to see someone teach computer science in Sotho.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-21 10:32

      Joe Soapie, me too.

  • abdul.cassiem.9 - 2012-12-20 17:56

    What's the use implementing this and you cnt even deliver textbooks on time.

  • michael.bushes.1 - 2012-12-20 17:56

    "The ANC wants the teaching of an indigenous language to be compulsory " The only indigenous languages are those that belong to my Khoisan forefathers. How the ANC is rewriting history is amazing

      terrylee.heuer - 2012-12-20 18:23

      Well Blade did say he wants to rewrite history lol!!

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:33

      Every African language, from Swahili to Mandingo to Mashona to Khoi and San is indigenous to Africa. Remember, the boundaries drawn on the map of Africa were drawn there by white Europeans as recently as 1884 (Berlin Conference). You therefore can't define indigeneity to a region of Africa whose borders were decided by Europeans. "Indigenous to Africa" means indigenous to the entire continent. The word used to describe something indigenous but which is confined to a narrower region is "endemic".

  • leviy - 2012-12-20 18:01

    if this languages will give people work then thumbs up!if not y bother...i dont have the best education maar my farm afrikaans has opened so many doors for me.

  • johann.engelbrecht.5 - 2012-12-20 18:08

    I was taught Tswana in school until the middle of Grade 7 in 1999, then the (ANC) Government decidded that we shouldn't learn the language anymore. Now the want to bring back the teaching of "indigenous" languages? Afrikaans is an indigenous language, it diverged from Dutch a long time ago.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:35

      It's rooted in Dutch and remains mutually-intelligible, so it is not truly indigenous.

  • bbooyse - 2012-12-20 18:08

    I don't get it, isn't Afrikaans considered an indigenous language?

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:35

      No. And for good linguistic reasons.

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-12-21 07:16

      @ bboysen, No, Afrikaans is not an indigenous African language. It has Dutch roots - not African linguistic roots. In fact, I think some even refer to it as 'kitchen Dutch'.

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 08:28

      So English is not indigenous to England? Interesting.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-21 08:40

      Definitely not Kitchen Dutch. Kitchen Dutch was A VARIANT spoken earlier in the Cape. And Afrikaans' roots is everything but ONLY European. Bobotie, Sosatie, Tamatie, Baie, and so on, come from Malaysia. A word like Rekenaar doesn't even exist in Europe, let alone in Dutch.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 23:19

      Afrikaans, during the 1950s and 1960s, deliberately invented hundreds of "new" words precisely to avoid using the handy English equivalent. They had a phobia about "anglisismes" back then. Some of the invented "approved" words were, frankly, pretty ridiculous. Even though we didn't have television back then, the custodians of Afrikaans feared that people would just copy the English word "television" and make it "televisie". So the officially-approved word was "beeldradio" (image-radio). Similarly denim jeans became a "klinknaelbroek" (rivet-trousers). A motor scooter became a "bromponie" (buzz-pony). But Afrikaners ignored this and annoyed the authorities as they ignored their inventions spoke of "televisie" or "teevee", "jeans" and "skoeter". Some words -- like "rekenaar" -- however gained wider acceptance and did not become "computer" as it did in Dutch. But Afrikaans is a bit trapped with "rekenaar" as it means "calculator" as well as "computer". The Dutch have "computer" and "rekenmachine" separating these two very different appliances.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-22 09:38

      Can anyone believe this guy actually SPEAKS Afrikaans? You're bashing your own language! It's like bashing white girls after marrying one!

  • kitty2wp - 2012-12-20 18:09

    so many indigenous languages in SA - let's see the fight forcing kids to learn languages which go against their tribe. teaching a higher standard of English & Maths is more important for the majority in SA - because SA sure as hell don't have jobs for them - and they WILL need to work abroad like many South Africans. Keeping your cultures including language is great - the Indian community are a wonderful example of this - SO CAN WE CHOOSE - I'd like my kids to learn Hindi or Tamil - please!!!!

  • firstseed.mbeva - 2012-12-20 18:09

    Long overdue

      bbooyse - 2012-12-20 18:14

      Yeah, because it was wrong to force afrikaans on people during apartheid ;but 100% A OK now because it's a black language..

      drew.thakoncept - 2012-12-20 18:28

      Mr. Booyse, not to offend you sir but afrikaans is a South African indegenous language and about more or less 60 percent of black people know or understand afrikaans... But sir can you say you know a venacular language or even grasp it? Probably not... Why cause you mostly don't care to know... Now sir tell me does that make sense? I'm not calling you a racist simply just stating facts

      bbooyse - 2012-12-20 18:33

      I am actually learning Sesotho (and a bit of it's cousins Sipedi and Setswana) - but this is my choice, it was not FORCED on me like Afrikaans was during Apartheid (which is the reason so many understand it). Unless you think there should be a second set of standards for the new government?

      JamesMWood - 2012-12-20 20:27

      @Drew, I believe the word you were looking for is vernacular

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:39

      Afrikaans is not genuinely indigenous, just as how an oak tree grown in Africa from an acorn will never be an African indigenous tree. Afrikaans is a Western Germanic language rooted in Europe and which has, over 350 years, changed and simplified itself away from its European parentage.

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-12-21 07:22

      @ bbooysen, Afrikaans is a language with European (not African) linguistic roots, which the Nats had no right to impose on the Native population. It isn't an indigenous African language. There is a very good case to be made that as an African country, SA must insist on African languages being made compulsory. Other countries clearly make their indigenous languages compulsory. However, the government needs to develop these languages before making them compulsory as they have been neglected.

  • werner.luitingh - 2012-12-20 18:10

    Nothing wil change in Waterkloof, Afrikaans is also Indigenous...

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:40

      Sitting in a banana box won't make you into a banana.

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-12-21 07:23

      @ werner, Afrikaans is not an indigenous African language. It is, quite simply, butchered Dutch. Dutch is not indigenous to Africa.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-12-21 08:42

      Butchered Dutch? Have you ever HEARD Dutch compared to Afrikaans?

      solo.mathe.5 - 2012-12-22 10:26

      @womba. Sitting in a banana box... Lol... This is funny!

  • danny.levin.33 - 2012-12-20 18:10

    No big deal, with a 30% being enough to pass then anyone could mumble a word or two and pass. that will leave enough time to study things that matter more, like maths and languages that are spoken internationally.

      Bev - 2012-12-21 17:21

      I hate to disagree with you Danny : my son is an excellent student, getting over 80% averages for ALL of his subjects ( including Maths, Science and Add Maths ) EXCEPT for IsiZulu, which he struggles to even pass : the standards for Second language Isizulu are almost at the same level as for First language.....I WISH it was as easy as you say.....

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-21 23:24

      But the teaching time devoted to this bureaucratic tickboxy 30% mumble and pass is still precious teaching time compulsorily taken away from learning other, more useful or more stimulating knowledge.

  • jackbongani.phala - 2012-12-20 18:14

    anc is like the storm that never come in mangaung.people were warned of the storm and they all moved to brick strucrures only to find that there is no storm.anc is always saying we gonna do this and that,and they never fullfiled even half of their promises in a period of 18 years.every time they fail they say is because of apartheid.stop the blame game and start to deliver because you are in government.

  • rupert.vansittert - 2012-12-20 18:16

    Welcome to Telkom's directory services, welkom by telkom se gidsnavraagdiens, womkele blah blah blah... I don't think so!

  • beertjie.peertjie - 2012-12-20 18:16

    Well said!

  • yolani.vdw - 2012-12-20 18:16

    that will be fine but they will need to appoint teachers and not at the cost of another teacher. I think it is beneficial to speak as many languages as possible.

  • jako.merwe - 2012-12-20 18:19

    Finally we are getting somewhere. Full anthem . Ramaphosa VP. And if you were born and raised in africa, but you can speak only English, you are probably a bit of a slapgat anyways

  • andrew.crawford.50 - 2012-12-20 18:20

    Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika National anthem of South Africa, in which the first two of the stanza are sung in Xhosa and the last two in Zulu. Second stanza sang in Sesotho. Third stanza sang in Afrikaans as part of the original anthem, Die Stem van Suid-Afrika. Fourth stanza sang in English. What about all the other indigenous languages, also how do our Indian brothers feel that Arabic, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu are not part of the National Anthem.

      kitty2wp - 2012-12-20 18:37

      i totally agree - the Indian people of SA have contributed immensely for 100s of years and always go with the flow and their contribution to 'the struggle' was passive. Many still remain dirt poor while others who educated themselves have soared to infinite heights and have gone beyond their communities to help others. The good old Durban curry is an example of their perfection made from almost nothing. The Indian people of SA deserve their very own Heritage Day and we should learn to speak some of their languages too.

      womba.wonder - 2012-12-20 21:41

      Their languages are indigenous to India.