Question NW977 to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

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09 October 2019 - NW977

Profile picture: Boshoff, Dr WJ

Boshoff, Dr WJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1) Whether it is Government’s policy to permit one university campus to be predominantly Afrikaans speaking; if not, why not; (2) Whether he will make a statement on the matter?


  1. All South African universities are currently public higher education instiutions. Public higher education institutions must be accessible to a wide range of diverse students. Within the South African context universities have developed language policies, in line with the Policy on Languages in Higher Education, and have moved away from Afrikaans only language institutions/ campuses toward utilising English as the main language of instruction, and at the same time fostering multilingual environments that include a range of other languages, in terms of, for example, campus signage, social usage and formal usage at university arranged events. This move has been tested in the consitutional court and has been found to be in line with the Constitution. Government supports these language policy movements, however it does not set the policy at the institutional level. An institution may implement a language policy that allows for dual mediums of instruction in terms of the policy. However, they may not implement policy that results in language being a barrier to access and success for students.

Private higher education institutions must also uphold the constitution and implement language policies that do not act as barriers to access and success.

2. No, the Minister will not be making a statement on this matter.

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