[lg policy] South Africa: Cele: Fix your language issues

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Sep 19 14:52:01 UTC 2015

 Cele: Fix your language issues September 19 2015 at 01:21pm
By Noloyiso Mtembu Comment on this story
Copy of cw BHEKI CELE 0147] WEEKEND ARGUS Bheki Cele, deputy minister of
agriculture, arrives at the Elsenburg Agricultural Institute where he
addressed black students about transformation issues. Picture: Ian Landsberg

Cape Town - ANC national executive committee member Bheki Cele challenged
students at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute to take the lead
in formulating a lasting solution to the language policy issue at the
college, and at other institutions in the country.

Cele, who was at the college on Thursday at the invitation of the South
African Students Congress, said his generation had paved the way for
equality of the races, and that it was up to the youth to “shape the
country as you want it”.

The college recently signed an agreement between its management and
students after weeks of racial tension and violent protests on campus,
which saw black and white students in conflict over the use of Afrikaans as
a medium of instruction.

According to the agreement, classes have been split to accommodate
Afrikaans and English speakers separately while a policy is developed.

Cele said the struggle for liberation was not easy, and that the youth
should not lose the gains made but rather continue where the previous
generation left off.

“The whole country is banking on you to do something about this language

Cele, also the deputy minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries,
called on the students to take agricultural studies seriously.

“We have a problem in this country where agriculture is in the hands of the
minority. The minority is feeding the majority, that is why there is
limited access to food. It is not an issue of availability, but of access,”
he said.

Last week Weekend Argus reported that a joint technical task team had been
established to identify an appropriate governance, academic and
institutional model for the future functioning of agricultural colleges.
The task team would advise the ministers of higher education and training,
and agriculture, forestry and fisheries on how best to relocate
agricultural colleges from the jurisdiction of provinces to national

Ideally, said Cele, colleges should maintain their practical training

Sasco students told Cele that they were disadvantaged in comparison to
white Afrikaans speakers, as practical work was conducted on local farms
where Afrikaans was used.

The students said they were being set up for failure through the use of

Cele said he would make time to visit the college again in the near future,
and that agricultural colleges would function best if they had their own
farms where students were free to do practical work.


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