The FF Plus youth in Gauteng rejects the plans of the University of Pretoria (UP) to change the Afrikaans names of residences on campus.
This name changes by the UP can be seen as yet another attempt to marginalise Afrikaans as well as to pacify the aggressive youth movements of the ANC and EFF – this is keeping a “false peace”.
According to the university’s spokesperson, Rikus Delport, these changes are not aimed at Afrikaans, but are merely an attempt to break down barriers to promote mutual acceptance as well as to establish inclusivity.
The university’s men’s residences are named after various species of trees and the women’s residences are named after various species of flowers and that excludes no one. Clearly, trees and flowers are not under fire here, but Afrikaans in its entirety certainly is.
How can the UP claim that they are attempting to create an inclusive environment for all, while their solution is to exclude only the proud apolitical Afrikaans names, the Afrikaans culture and the alumni who lived in these hostels over the last 110 years?
The key to an inclusive student environment is not to exclude only Afrikaans. The FF Plus Youth in Gauteng supports the notion that residences may have more than just one name.
The key lies in adding more instead of taking away. The UP’s attempt to promote inclusivity by marginalising Afrikaans will only bring about even more division among students.