If isiZulu were South Africa's official language

Columnist, Andile Ndlovu, suggests that it may be time to consider dropping English as South Africa's official language and instead begin using isiZulu, the most widely spoken language in South Africa.

Dr Somadoda Fikeni, political analyst based at Unisa says Ndlovu's idea and suggestion is unlikely to be implemented.

Fikeni explains that the real challenge is diversity.

If the Constitution speaks to diversity, then it is almost inconceivable that other cultural groups would accept one language to be used as a national language because that would be seen as a cultural imposition on others.

Dr Somadoda Fikeni, political analyst based at Unisa

Also read: Department of Education irons out plans to decolonise English curriculum

While the provision is made up to this point to say, where the speakers of such a language are concentrated in a particular language, surely you'd have Setswana spoken in the North West, isiZulu in KZN. You'd have isiZulu being additional language in Gauteng and as such, you can't then impose isiZulu in the Western Cape or Limpopo.

Dr Somadoda Fikeni, political analyst based at Unisa

Fikeni explains that language carries people's history and heritage, so imposing it on everyone would undo the national project that embraces diversity.

English is often used because it is viewed as a way to bridge the gap between various ethnic groups, Fikeni suggests. However, those indigenous languages should be developed instead of killing one to elevate the other.

Take a listen:


This article first appeared on 702 : If isiZulu were South Africa's official language


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