FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06 JUNE 2022, PRETORIA
The Pan South African Language Board appalled at Ryanair Afrikaans test
The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) has expressed deep displeasure at the decision by the Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair, to test the authenticity of a South African passport through a questionnaire written in Afrikaans.
“We find this reckless decision by Ryanair quite problematic and is reminiscent of the old colonial and apartheid systematic subjugation of speakers of other languages, mainly black people, to racial and linguistic discrimination. This is a complete disregard, not just of South Africa’s constitutional democracy and linguistic diversity but an ignorance of the UN Declaration on Human Rights.” said PanSALB CEO Mr Lance Schultz.
“Historically, language has been used to exclude marginalised groups from accessing socio-economic opportunities and therefore, using language as a security feature to determine the legitimacy of one’s South African citizenship is deeply concerning. Furthermore, the system is flawed in that all our 11 official languages have speakers outside the SA borders in countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia where Afrikaans is also widely spoken” he added.
“Ryanair must find other non-discriminatory means to test South African passports to avoid subjecting the majority of our citizens to unfair practices” concluded Schultz.
The Pan South African Language Board is established in terms of the PanSALB Act 59 of 1995 To provide for the recognition, implementation and furtherance of multilingualism in the Republic of South Africa and the development of previously marginalised languages.