Debate on the introduction of Mandarin in Gauteng public schools

The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by the DA’s Khume Ramulifho MPL and Solly Msimanga MPL and Graham Gersbach MPL during a debate on the introduction of mandarin in Gauteng public schools.

Speech by
Khume Ramulifho MPL

“Focus on the priorities in education, not politics”

  • Education must empower individuals so they can utilise their talents in exploring opportunities aimed at promoting and developing our nation.
  • 75% of our schools are dysfunctional, The DA holds the view that this government must focus on measures to move 75% of our schools from being dysfunctional to schools of excellence.
  • When are we going to promote our own languages and embrace our diversity not in words but in actions?

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by

Solly Msimanga MPL

“Promote SA’s indigenous languages first, before introducing Mandarin”

  • Everyone has the right to receive education in the official language or languages of their choice in public educational institutions where that education is reasonably practicable.
  • Our communities such as the Khoi, nama-Khoi and indigenous San languages have been lost and the Department of Basic Education didn’t step in and try to protect and preserve almost ancient African languages.
  • The DA will request the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) to probe the viability and practicability of teaching Mandarin in our schools.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by

Graham Gersbach MPL

“SA’s got a special case of “mandarin””

  • In principle there is nothing wrong with teaching a foreign language but we should concentrate on teaching at least 3 of our official languages at every school before we try to add another foreign language.
  • The DA believes we need to get the basics in our education right first and ensure all are able to access education in all our official languages.
  • If we are not able to accommodate our African languages in all our schools how can we practically now add Mandarin to the curriculum?

The full speech can be obtained here