CAPE TOWN – Protecting the cultural and language rights of the indigenous peoples of the Western Cape should be paramount for those nominated to two separate provincial entities, the Western Cape Language Committee (WCLC) and the Western Cape Cultural Commission.
The provincial standing committee on cultural affairs and sport has invited the general public to nominate people to serve the entities.
Committee member Peter Marais (FF Plus) said that if neither of the entities prioritise the cultural and language rights of the indigenous peoples of the Western Cape, namely the Khoi, the Griqua, Malays and Afrikaners, then they should be done away with.
“History has taught us that these commissions and committees are toothless bulldogs, the creation of liberal thought to sooth the fears of conservationists of cultural domination.
“We refuse to be silenced and brow beaten by foreigners and other cultures migrating to the Western Cape.
“I am not anti any culture, but simply pro my own Afrikaans culture and lifestyles. If the Afrikaans language and culture is not adequately provided for on all spheres of society, these toothless bulldogs should be scrapped as fiscally wasteful spending,” Marais said.
Those appointed to either entity will serve a three-year term of office. The members of the WCLC represent the users of the three official languages of the Western Cape, namely Afrikaans, English and Xhosa, as well as those of South African Sign Language and previously marginalised indigenous languages of the Western Cape.
The aim of the commission is to preserve, promote and develop culture in the province.
Committee chairperson Reagen Allen said: “These two institutions play a significant role in the promotion and preservation of arts, culture, and language in the province.
“It is also important that we have the views of those who are on the ground, with the relevant experiences and knowledge to add value to both structures,” Allen said.
Committee member Ayanda Bans (ANC) said: “The entities under the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports have a meaningful role to play in preserving and promoting our languages and cultures in the Western Cape.
“The ANC is of the view that the budgets the department is transferring to these entities is fairly small, and should be increased, in order to get maximum impact of the work being done,” Bans said.