Home language speaks volumes

New ANC president Jacob Zuma has his work cut out for him.

New ANC president Jacob Zuma has his work cut out for him.

The plethora of interest groups that want a piece of Msholozi include the sectarian trade union Solidarity, which is known for championing the Afrikaans cause. The union has a 10-point agenda it wants to discuss.

Its wish list includes such vexed issues as crime, mother- tongue education and the exemption of young whites from affirmative action policies.

We reserve our opinion on all but the language issue. This is one source of great displeasure whose significance appears lost on the ANC- dominated government.

It is disheartening that our government continues giving such scant regard to pleas that it take decisive action to promote mother-tongue education.

Who actually remembers South Africa has 10 official languages besides English? Our constitution confers the same status on Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

There is also abundant scientific evidence pointing to the dangers of ramming a second language into little heads.

Experts have also blamed the poor showing by our nation's children in reading skills, understanding concepts and in key subjects such as maths and science on the fact that they get intimidated by a "foreign" language too early.

It would be interesting to see how Zuma uses his ability to overcome hurdles on this prickly matter.