Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas, at the introduction of Nama language at the Riemvasmaak Primary School Riemvasmaak PDF Print E-mail

Programme Director
Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Provincial Legislature
Member of the Provincial Legislature – Eastern Cape, Mr Christian Martin
Executive Mayors, Mayors and Councillors
Members of the //Kharas Regional Council
Members of the Namibian delegation present, Mr Augustinus Ucham and Mr Johannes //Hoeseb
Commissioner from the Human Rights Commission, Mr Chris NissenChief Exectuvice officer Provincial Director of PANSALB, Dr Monareng and Mr Moremi
Traditional leaders present, Ouma Katriena and Captain Paul Swartbooi
Representatives from the Renewable energy and Mining Sectors
Representatives from the Historically Disadvantaged Individuals (HDI NC)
Development committee members from Kuboes and Riemvasmaak
Principals and educators
School governing body memebers
Learners
Community members of Riemvasmaak
Members of the media
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

Hierdie samekoms is een waarna ek met besonder uitgesien het na. Dit is inderdaad vir my ‘n groot plesier en eer om vandag deel te wees van hierdie spesiale geleentheid. Die Nordkaap as ‘n Provinsie, is bekend vir baie eerstes en vandag is weereens die oomblik waar ons geskiedenis maak en in plek gaan stel en ook herstel wat vir ons generasie verlore was.

As ‘n Regering wat voorwaar omgee vir al sy mense, ongeag kleur, diversiteit, afkoms, kultuur, geloofsoortuigings en veral taal, is ek trots om hier as ‘n volwaardige Suid Afrikaner te staan en erkenning te gee aan die Nama Mense en hul taal. Inteendeel, die Nama taal is ons taal  en persoonlik voel ek trots en geëerd om deel te wees van hierdie bekendstelling vandag. Dit is ook ‘n blye belewenis ook om in die geselskap van ons mense te kan wees wat op hul gebiede bydra tot die bewaring en onwikkeling van ons inheemse kulture en gebruike.

Die Noord-Kaap is ook 'n provinsie ryk aan geskiedenis, kultuur en erfenis. As die ANC  beleerde regering glo ons sterk in die erkening van die identiteitsbeginsel. Ons erken dat dit juis ons diversiteit is wat ons as Suid-Afrikaners uniek maak. Binne hierdie konteks streef ons na die beskerming en bevordering van alle kulture, tale, tradisies en geskiedenis. Julle bydrae tot dusver het daartoe gelei dat daar aansienlike verbeterings in toegang tot sport, kuns en kultuur is. Laat my toe om dus spesiale erkenning te gee aan Ouma Katriena “Geelmeid” Esau, ons grootmoeder wat ook vanoogend hier teenwoordig is.  Sy is een van die ontvangers van die Orde van die Baobab, wat aan Suid-Afrikaanse burgers toegewys word ter eering en vergoeding vir uitstekende diens op die gebiede van sake en die ekonomie, wetenskap, medisyne en tegnologiese innovasie en gemeenskap diens. Ouma Katrina Esau en die gestorwe en geliefde Dawid Kruiper is vereer in die kategorie vir die behoud van die bedreigde kultuur en taal van die San mense.

Ladies and gentlemen

Allow me to share briefly some historical background as to why we are here today. Khoekhoe is a Khoisan language spoken by about Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand people in parts of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. It is spoken by three groups of people, the Nama (Khoekhoen), Damar and Hai?om. The language is also known as Nama. Many Nama speaking people reside in Upington, Kakamas, Riemvasmaak, Pella, Kuboes, Steinkopf, Augrabies and Marchand. Nama, therefore as a subject, is not foreign to Northern Cape schools. It was once taught in four schools in our province, here at Riemvasmaak, Steinkopf and the Richtersveld- all areas with strong Nama roots.

Strengthening and protection of the indigenous languages of our Province has been an area in which the Department of Education has played an active role in empowering especially the communities of Platfontein and the Namakwa region in the development of these languages. Therefore as early as 2000, Nama was introduced as a subject in these towns. This was done in order to preserve the Nama language. The introduction of this project came with many challenges; one being that the sample drawn was too large hence this time round the project will only be piloted in two schools in the Province.

Honourable Deputy Minister Surtie, at this point I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you and your Department as well as to the Minister, Me Angie Motshekga for the invaluable role you played in ensuring that due recognition, preservation and promotion of the Nama language is guaranteed.

On behalf of the Northern Cape Government I also wish to extend our deep gratitude to the people of Namibia. Our hope for renewing and preserving the language came as a result of our twinning agreement with the //Karas Regional council in Namibia. The Northern Cape Province and //Kharas Regional Council of Namibia entered into a twinning agreement many years ago. The twinning agreement pays particular attention to key areas such as Trade and investment (economic), transport, environment, tourism and conservation, fisheries and aquaculture, basic education, tertiary education, sports, arts and culture, local government matters, safety and security issues.

The //Karas region and the Northern Cape Province are two bordering regions in different countries. Not only do we share a common border but our history shows a number of striking similarities pertaining to culture, language and our economies.

As a result of the work that has been undertaken thus far by the joint technical committees to develop an action plan and different work-streams to ensure that we implement the agreement, we were able to expand on this agreement, and explore areas such as sport interaction, culture and heritage as well as education enhancement through the development of indigenous languages such as !Nxu, Nama and !Khwe.

This friendship and solidarity has been cultivated during our common history of struggle against colonialism and apartheid. We share a deep political, economic, social and cultural relationship. We share a common desire for the development of our people and for the integration of our region. As the Northern Cape Province we are therefore committed to deepen these mutual arrangements to benefit the citizens of our respective provinces.

Today we stand here encouraged and motivated that with our neighbours, our Department of Basic Education, development partners, PANSALB and various other stakehoders such as NGO’S,  we are able to enhance a sense of the Nama pride once again.

Dames en Here

Ons is dankbaar vir die onderneming wat deur die agbare Adjunk Minister Surtie gemaak is dat die Departtemnet saam met die Provinsie sal werk om te sien hoe Nama taal en ander inheemse tale ook kan ingesluit word by die kurrikulum.

Ons sal ook nouer moet saamwerk met alle belanghebbende partye wat ons visie vir die ontwikkeling van die Provinsie deel om vrylik by te dra tot die beskerming en bevordering van die taal en kultuur van ons Nama en Khoi broers en susters.

Ons doe nook ‘n beroep op die kundiges op die gebied van die taal en kultuur om ons as die regering se hande te neem en ons te versterk in ons strewe om die taal, nie net onder die nama Mense te bevorder nie, maar dit ook bekend te stel aan alle Suid Afrikaners in besonder en in die res van Afrika in geheel.

Ter afsluiting wil ek U die versekering gee dat die wil en waardering daar is om die Nama Taal en kultuur behoue te bly. Ons verbind ons om hierdie stryd voort te stry en ek staan trots hier om te verklaar dat hierdie stryd ons sin is en dat ons saam sal oorwin. Ons wêreldklas Grondwet verseker die behoud van almal se taal en kultuur en soos trots Suid Afrikaanse burgers verbind ons ons tot ons Grondwet. Saam sal ons verseker dat ons nie net die Khoi en San Kultuur bevorder nie, maar gelykheid en erkenning aan alle Suid Afrikaners verseker.

Ek dank u

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