There have been many echoes of discussions that Afrikaans is banned at Stellenbosch University. It is alleged that the University was investigating claims of an English-only policy where students were supposedly banned from speaking Afrikaans in private spaces, including residences, and bedrooms.
As reported by IOL, in a statement made by the University’s rector and vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers, when he addressed the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Stellenbosch, he indicated there is no ban on the language at the learning institution nor in lecture halls, or anywhere else on campus.
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He told the commission: “Somewhat overwhelmed by a brand-new setting, new students may not always understand the information and arrangements meant to help them settle in. For this reason, student leaders in residences mostly use English in formal settings during this period to ensure that everyone has access to crucial information,” News 24 reported.
De Villiers said that their language policy advances multilingualism, taking into account the diversity of our society and the intellectual wealth inherent in that diversity. Meanwhile, the inquiry comes after conservatives took to the street on Friday, April 9, believing that the university was banning Afrikaans. However, the university confirmed that it was in the process of reviewing its language policy, as it is obligated to do so every five-year cycle. According to its policy, De Villiers added that languages must be used in a way that does not exclude anyone from taking part in informal activities, The Citizen reports.
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