22 July 2019 - NW191
Van Dyk, Ms V to ask the MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE”
Whether his department recognises Nama or Khoekhoegowab as a Khoisan language; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NW1149E
Based on the advice of the Khoe Nama and San National Language Body (KSNLB), we do not have what we call a Khoisan language. We however speak of Khoe and San languages referring to a family of language groups under the Khoi communities and the San communities.
For South Africa, Nama is one of the Khoe group of languages and mostly spoken in the Northern Cape and Western Cape Provinces. It is richer and mostly developed, as compared to all the other languages within the same family group. We have people in the country that can speak, read, write and teach Nama.
In the Northern Cape areas (Kuboes, Lekkersing, Riemvasmaak, Eksteenfontein, Pella, Nabapeeb, Sandrift, Alexanderbay and Steinkopf) Nama was taught in almost 10 schools from Grade 1 to Grade 11 until 2012. Currently Nama is a pilot study for teaching and learning at Riemvasmaak and Kuboes Primary Schools in Grade 1 through efforts of the KSNLB, PanSALB, NC Department of Education, NC Department of Sports, Arts & Culture through the Twinning Agreement for support from Namibia.
The NC Department of Education is busy with a Curriculum and Syllabus for the standardised teaching of Nama in South Africa with the support of PanSALB and Namibia. They have appointed a Provincial Co-ordinator to oversee implementation of the Nama programme in schools and strategic partnerships in this regard.
As for KhoeKhoegowab, it is one of the Khoe and San languages encompassing Nama, Haillom and Damara and mostly used in Namibia and not in South Africa. It is a Khoe language. There is some work, efforts, strides, programmes and initiatives undertaken in the Western Cape province by the Universities (in particular the University of Cape Town) to teach, promote, research and develop KhoeKhoegowab. In 2016 through partnerships with the University of Namibia, PanSALB and the KSNLB launched the KhoeKhoegowab Dictionary Glossarium as a way to show commitment to the promotion, preservation, teaching and development of the Khoe and San languages.