Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) Member of Parliament Ringo Madlingozi says the literature of black languages in the current democratic dispensation has not been developed fully.
He was speaking at Parliament during a debate held under the theme: “Celebrating South Africa’s literary classics in the year of indigenous languages” to mark Heritage Day next week.
Madlingozi says there is a need to prioritise the development of indigenous languages in South Africa in order to put them on an equal footing with other languages of Western origins.
“Language and intellectual understanding are greater threats to the continuing domination of the European culture and ideas in the country. We need a concerted programme to redefine ourselves as black people in our country. And use our past as a binding tool for us to identify fully with one another,” says Madlingozi.
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Member of Parliament Professor Themba Msimang has called for the preservation of indigenous languages in South Africa for black people to be taken seriously.
He called these languages an “immortal” pride of the nation. Msimang says there is a vast and rich history of indigenous languages that has not been given the full respect they deserve.
The Good Party says the promotion of indigenous languages should keep up with modern technology including social media. The party says otherwise young people won’t find indigenous languages attractive.
Good Party member of Parliament-Shaun August says, “If we are truly to celebrate our righteous in this year of our indigenous languages, we do well in reimagining our livelihood. I am not suggesting tossing up the books. On the contrary, our libraries should be repositioned and resold to the young people as evolving and constant centres of learning. We should offer online books and free Wi-Fi. This is a great attraction to the youth where in a time airtime is not affordable to the most.”
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