Afrikaans must also trans­form

CityPress - - Voices - Bu­tana Mbon­iswa Tlokwe, North West

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.

PHOTO: FELIX DLANGAMANDLA

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

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