LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Stellenbosch University language debate: Speak Afrikaans, study in English

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A part of the campus of  Stellenbosch university. (Photo: Getty Images)
A part of the campus of Stellenbosch university. (Photo: Getty Images)

Gert Naudé writes in response to an opinion piece by the vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University, Wim de Villiers entitled "Stellenbosch University remains committed to inclusive multilingualism".


In response to the recent letter from Professor Wim de Villiers recently, I would like to offer my humble input.As an alumnus of Stellenbosch University circa 1976, my studies for the BMil degree were mainly in Afrikaans. Exceptions were Financial Accounting 1 and Political Science 1. My honours studies at Unisa were also conducted in a mix of the two languages. This variation was of tremendous assistance in furthering my accounting and consulting careers with various major South African companies.

The reason is that large firms and companies in South Africa usually have an international interest and use English as business language. This relates to all formal training, record-keeping and communication.

Most sectors in this country prefer English as a business language, due to ease of communication and integration with other nationalities and cultures.

Therefore, it is imperative that university studies are conducted in English and keep in mind that most important textbooks are in English.

To conclude, as an Afrikaans-speaking citizen who grew up in Cape Town, attended Afrikaans schools and married a "boeremeisie", I concur with the view of the university. Speak Afrikaans and study in English.

- Gert Naudé, Wellington, Western Cape

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