Original Research

Politieke strategieë van aktiviste vir die amptelike erkenning van Afrikaans

Jaap Steyn
Literator | Vol 39, No 2 | a1468 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v39i2.1468 | © 2018 Jaap Steyn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 January 2018 | Published: 30 July 2018

About the author(s)

Jaap Steyn, Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Political strategies of activists for the official recognition of Afrikaans. Five language activists followed different political strategies between 1875 and 1925 to ensure Afrikaans became one of the official languages of South Africa. S.J. du Toit tried to promote Afrikaans, but realised that in the nineteenth century Cape Colony, he could only do it by helping the Dutch advocates acquire several rights. Through the apt manoeuvrings at the National Convention in 1908, General J.B.M. Hertzog and President M.T. Steyn secured official status for Dutch and English in the Union of South Africa, as well as the equal treatment of these two languages. Without language equality, official recognition could easily exist only in name. By choosing a language design, they also ensured that the final recognition of Afrikaans was merely a formality. J.H.H. de Waal and C.J. Langenhoven were the only important activists who were outright anti-Dutch. Through their political actions, they established Afrikaans for certain functions, even before official recognition. Langenhoven also accelerated the standardisation of Afrikaans, thus facilitating official recognition.


language activism; equal language rights; South Africa Act (1909);National Convention (1908); Article 137; S.J. du Toit;Gen. J.B. M. Hertzog; Pres. M.T. Steyn;C.J. Langenhoven; J.H.H. de Waal


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