N.Cape premier urges people to embrace their culture, language

Sylvia Lucas
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There’s been a call for people to embrace their culture and language. Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas says having the promotion of indigenous languages as a theme for Human Rights day is a victory for all South Africans.

Culture and language rights are enjoying the spotlight in 2019 as they are close to the hearts of many.

Most Khoisan languages are either endangered or critically endangered. There are efforts to revive them. Nama, for example, is now taught at two schools in the province.

The premier also revealed that efforts are underway to get more indigenous languages in schools.

Lucas says they are working with PanSALB and other organisations to get all indigenous languages in schools just like with Nama.

“Children must be taught a third language in South African schools and that is one of the things that we have been speaking about. But also the issue if Nama, to extend it and also the fact that we want to support, particularly as the Northern Cape, we would like to give more support to the new language.”

Lucas says apartheid saw the decimation of many indigenous languages as people were either scared or ashamed to speak it. She says people need to first find pride in their heritage as this will go a long way in reviving the languages.