FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
17 November 2022, PRETORIA
PanSALB DISHEARTENED AT DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT AFRIKAANS
The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) has noted with concern the disparaging comments made by South African born actress, Ms Charlize Theron, wherein she disregards the Afrikaans language as ‘dying out’ and ‘not very useful’ and only spoken by 44 people. The comments are not only disheartening but are disturbing as they are inaccurate and misleading. According to Stats SA’s Community Survey of 2018, Afrikaans is the 3rd most spoken language in the country making up 12,2% of the population.
These comments made by Ms Theron perpetuate the persistent misconception that Afrikaans is only spoken by white ‘boere’ South Africans, which could not be farther from the truth as 60% of the people that speak the language are black. Furthermore, Afrikaans maintains its official status in terms of the Constitution and is utilised in several cross governmental communications and used as a medium of instruction in South African schools. By her own admission, Ms Theron was taught through our schooling system in her mother tongue, which built the foundation of her rather illustrious career.
Ms Theron is held in such high regard by the country of her birth and as the Pan South African Language Board we implore her to pay due regard to the Constitutional imperatives that promote social cohesion and continue the commendable work of using her platform to highlight some of the critical socio-economic issues that affect the continent including the importance of participating in public life using one’s mother tongue.
Released on behalf of PanSALB: Ntombentle Huluhulu
Head: Marketing and Communication
Mobile: 061 581 5216