The DA recently celebrated a decision by higher education minister Blade Nzimande to reinstate Afrikaans as a language of instruction, and Marais said smaller languages must be safeguarded.
“My department does extensive work in the province through the Western Cape language policy to ensure that equal representation is given to all three of the official languages of the province,” she said.
“We work with sign language practitioners to ensure access to information for the deaf community and we also work to support the Khoi and San communities in preserving and promoting their indigenous languages.”
Earlier this week, DA MP Leon Schreiber called Mthethwa's renaming move “a further intensification of the onslaught against language diversity in general, and specifically against the place of Afrikaans speakers in SA”.
He added: “Just as we gave Blade Nzimande a bloody nose, the DA is also already mobilising against this latest hateful attack on our language by Mthethwa. We must protest against the ANC’s efforts to remove Afrikaans even from the Taalmonument.”
Trade Union Solidarity accused Mthethwa of trying to “steal the identity of a community”.