n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die polemiek in die oorgangstyd (1994 -1996) rondom die taalbesluite van die South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) rakende Afrikaans

Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Using a number of national newspapers and periodicals as basis, an analysis of the debate around the status of Afrikaans in the SABC in the period of the Interim Constitution to the acceptance of the Final Constitution was conducted.
The reality of the multilingual situation in South Africa proved that the mechanisms for safeguarding the status of the eleven official languages in South Africa from the Interim Constitution to the Final Constitution were inadequate and did not provide the final answer, because the choice of a language was a political act and in the multilingual state the recognition of language rights could not only be contingent on a constitution.
A debate ensued after the elections in 1994 when the entire top structure of the SABC was replaced by ANC-minded people and Afrikaans received, in the minds of some people, its "due regard" - that of being on a par with the other nine indigenous languages in South Africa. The status and usage of Afrikaans on SABC television was drastically curtailed. In the light of the alleged threat the usual non-involvement and apathy of the Afrikaans speaker was replaced by resistance.
In the final section, three orientations distinguished by Ruíz (1988) viz. language-as-right, language-as-resource, and language-as-problem are discussed. The categories are dealt with according to distinguishing characteristics and current trends.

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