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The role and place of the Afrikaans-speaking community in South Africa (Cape Town)

In a social cohesion roundtable meeting on the role and place of the Afrikaans-speaking community in South Africa, held on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town, it was agreed that the Inclusive Society Institute will implement a sustainable programme to keep social cohesion high on the agenda. This would include the design of an action plan aimed at marshalling the decisions taken in the programme onto the country’s policy-making agenda.

The roundtable was attended by a good cross-section of Afrikaans speakers drawn from business, government, the NGO sector, community representatives and academia. The keynote speakers included the Treasurer General of the African National Congress, Mr Paul Mashatile, who elaborated on the ruling parties philosophy, policy and history aimed at building a non-racial South Africa; and Dr Ruben Richards, Chairman of the Ruben Richards Foundation, who are actively involved in community upliftment projects and the creation of sustainable communities.

The discussion was facilitated by Roelf Meyer, a key architect in the drafting of the South African Constitution.

Areas, amongst others, that need fleshing out include:

  • Developing a political culture of tolerance, with particular emphasis on ensuring that the narrative is conducive to reconciliation.

  • Reversing the inter-community trust deficit that has systematically developed post the Mandela-reconciliation era.

  • Guarding against stereotyping individuals on the basis of their community affiliation.

  • Developing activities that give greater inter-community exposure.

  • Designing public policies that crowd in the talents, skills, expertise and goodwill within the minority communities so as to enable their practical contribution towards building the South African economy and society.

This dialogue forms part of the Inclusive Society Institute’s broader programme aimed at fostering an inclusive progressive society

Sue van der Merwe, Chairperson, Inclusive Society Institute

Paul Mashatile, Treasurer General, African National Congress

Daryl Swanepoel, CEO, Inclusive Society Institute

Ruben Richards, Chairperson, Ruben Richards Foundation

Roelf Meyer, Director, In Transformation Initiative


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