oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Die Afrikaner se stryd om taalgelykberegtiging in Port Elizabeth, 1902-1937

Volume 7, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



The Afrikaner formed a cultural minority group in Port Elizabeth. In the beginning of the twentieth century Port Elizabeth was one of the most truly English towns in South Africa. Regarding the language question, the English-speaking community was in principle opposed to any attempt at compulsion. They rejected the idea of compulsory bilingualism and believed that politicians should leave this question absolutely alone. They were of the opinion that English and Afrikaans would never be on an equal footing. English was widely recognised as the language of commerce and industry. Afrikaans was ignored in the City Council and other local governing bodies. There was a complete lack of Afrikaans books in the city libraries. In respect of the Afrikaans cultural life in the city, the idea of equal language rights came strongly to the fore. In this regard Afrikaans cultural organisations played a dominant role.

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