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AfriForum opposes proposed name change for Taal monument Museum

AfriForum said renaming the institution equated to diluting the Afrikaans language and erasing the contribution of Afrikaans-speaking people to the development of SA.

02 June 2022 - 11:00
The Taal Monument in Paarl, Western Cape.
The Taal Monument in Paarl, Western Cape.
Image: taalmuseum.co.za

Lobby group AfriForum is opposing the proposed name change to the Afrikaans Taal monument museum in Paarl in the Western Cape. 

It said its more than 300,000 members objected to the name change on the basis that there is no element of exclusion or polarisation in the current name of the institution that “promotes social cohesion and inclusion”. 

The group was responding to reports that arts minister Nathi Mthethwa plans to rename the museum monument “on the grounds of inclusivity” and its input to requests by the institution for public comment on the proposed name change. 

AfriForum, which requested a meeting with the minister to discuss the proposal, said renaming the institution equated to diluting the Afrikaans language and erasing the contribution of Afrikaans-speaking people to the development of SA. 

The long-term plan, it suggested, should be to equally promote and develop all indigenous languages.

“The long-term ideal would be that all our indigenous languages would be equally highly developed, used and appreciated. However, trying to achieve this by diluting recognition of one language, denying the symbolism of one community’s memorialisation and eradicating the specific focus of a heritage beacon is an act of division and disrespect.”

The institution said it had engaged with the department of sport, arts and culture on the proposal. It said it would remain focused on promoting social cohesion, indigenous languages and multilingualism and their role in the process of decolonisation.

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