Call for Minister Mthethwa to reconsider proposed name change
MEDIA STATEMENT BY MINISTER ANROUX MARAIS: WE URGE MINISTER MTHETHWA TO RECONSIDER THE PROPOSED NAME CHANGE FOR THE AFRIKAANSE TAAL MONUMENT
It is with dismay that I have heard of the National Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa’s proposal to have the name of the Afrikaanse Taal Monument changed.
The Afrikaanse Taal Monument was established in 1975 and symbolizes the diversity and growth of the Afrikaans language. It is an important part of our country’s history and the name is directly connected to its origin and meaning. To change the name would take away from the historical value of the Afrikaans language. We must ensure that we do not lose sight of the importance of protecting all our indigenous languages in our aim to give equal access and representation to all.
While we appreciate the fact that our country needs to be inclusive of all our official languages, it is also important that we do not lose the identities of the smaller languages. My department does extensive work in the province through the Western Cape Language Policy to ensure that equal representation is given to all three the official languages of the province. We work with Sign Language practitioners to ensure access to information for the deaf community and we also work to support the Khoi and San communities in preserving and promoting their indigenous languages.
I want to urge Minister Mthethwa to reconsider the proposed name change of this historically valuable monument. It is time that we start examining how we are spending public funds in the name of social cohesion, if the actions that are being taken will lead to further divides in the country. Public funds for Arts and Culture should be properly spent on supporting our artists and the development of our indigenous languages, rather than on hollow grand gestures.
Acting Spokesperson to Minister Anroux Marais
076 093 4913