Afrikaans must also transform
Afrikaans, like all other languages in the country, must be protected. It must find its expression in culture, arts and other activities that its users undertake.
But this expression does not require the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University to be an Afrikaans-only varsity to protect the language.
As an academically respected institution, it must open its doors of learning to all South Africans.
Sustaining this Afrikaans-only policy is exclusionary and fails to integrate the university into the transforming society that South Africa is.
The argument by Kallie Kriel, the CEO of AfriForum, that “targeting the last Afrikaans campus is proof of a racist contempt for Afrikaners” is divisive and alarmist.
Afrikaners should not be made to feel isolated and targeted every time their historic institutions are being integrated into the broader democratic society.
As someone born in Tlokwe, I could not attend Potchefstroom University in the past due to its Afrikaans-only policy. I think the university must not miss the opportunity to revise its language policy and extend access to all learners who can and must be proud of a leading university on their doorstep.
Students at North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus march to ViceChancellor Professor Dan Kgwadi to hand over a memorandum about transformation issues and initiation practices at the university