The concerns were sparked by a tweet from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reading: “I publicly and in my personal capacity disagree with the phasing out of Afrikaans as one of the mediums of teaching at the University of Pretoria,” he said.
He further cautioned: “As a country, you are shooting yourselves down. You will regret it in 30 years’ time.”
AfriForum joined the debate and supported Mboweni, adding that removing Afrikaans undermined social cohesion; created conflict and contributed to student non-performance.
AfriForum chief executive Alana Bailey said: “Neither AfriForum nor AfriForum Youth had ever asked that Afrikaans be the only language of instruction at UP; on the contrary, we suggested a choice of three, which included English.”