AfriForum is mobilising its structures countrywide to oppose the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill which will be available for public consultation in March 2022. This follows after the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Basic Education decided that such a process should be undertaken again.
This civil rights organisation regards the bill as part of the ANC government’s hate campaign against Afrikaans children and schools. For more than five years, AfriForum has been objecting to the planned legislation which inter alia aims at centralising decisions on schools’ admission and language policies in the hands of the state, instead of the communities in which the schools are located. Despite overwhelming public objection in this regard, these proposals remain part of every new version of the bill.
“The ANC government is hungry for power and has for example by means of the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, made its hatred of Afrikaans and aversion to Afrikaans education quite clear,” says Alana Bailey, AfriForum’s Head of Cultural Affairs.
She mentions that AfriForum’s legal opinion is ready for submission and that the organisation will mobilise its members on a large scale to participate in the public consultation process on the bill.
“AfriForum is regularly contacted by parents of Afrikaans schools which are subjected to pressure by the education department to anglicise. Parallel medium schools eventually become single medium English schools, as we have recently seen in the case of Theresa Park Primary School. Public universities have already taken a stand against the internationally recognised benefits of mother-language education by anglicising. We cannot allow that our children will also be deprived of this right at school level and that communities forfeit their say over the language, nature and finances of their schools,” she adds.
An online petition was launched by AfriForum to garner support against the bill. It can be signed at www.redafrikaans.co.za.