Motshekga’s statement about mother-language education a mere ruse - AfriForum

With BELA Afrikaans schools and quality education are next institutions to be destroyed by ANC

AfriForum says Minister’s statement about mother-language education is a mere ruse

22 May 2024 

The most recent statement of the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, about the value of mother-language education and her department’s appreciation for Afrikaans schools, amount to a mere ruse in the run-up to the election and in light of the growing opposition to the controversial Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (better known as the BELA Bill). This is the opinion of AfriForum after the minister’s efforts to reassure Afrikaans speakers yesterday that the Bill does not target Afrikaans schools at all.

“The ANC is a champion destroyer of value. The fact that any South African institution functioned admirably has never yet prevented the ANC from plundering such an institution into dysfunctionality by means of poor administration, cadre deployment and the misuse of funds. With the BELA Bill, Afrikaans schools and quality education in general are next on the menu,” says Alana Bailey, AfriForum’s Head of Cultural Affairs.

She emphasises that the public is not as naive as to believe the Minister’s assurances. “In single-medium Afrikaans schools, staff and governing bodies are used to being under constant pressure to switch to dual or parallel-medium instruction. Attacks by the minister herself, as well as other ANC politicians on Afrikaans schools in the past make the true state of affairs clear. Dual and parallel-medium schools are anglicising at a rapid rate in South Africa. The department regularly announces new plans to empower more languages as languages of instruction, but in practice this does not happen because the infrastructure, learning materials and political will to carry these plans out in practice, are lacking.”

Bailey believes that possible solutions include options such as that all parents in the country should be properly informed about the benefits of mother-language education, the offer of single-medium schools should be expanded and that all schools may offer a third official language as a subject, but not as a medium of instruction.

Meanwhile, AfriForum, Solidarity and the Solidarity Support Centre for Schools are still awaiting the President’s response to their urgent request that he should not sign the BELA Bill. AfriForum’s legal team is also continuing with its preparations for legal action, should he not heed the request.

The public can give their mandate for AfriForum’s legal actions at www.stopbela.co.za.

Issued by Alana Bailey, Head: Cultural Affairs, AfriForum, 22 May 2024