The 1996 Constitution of South African recognises 11 official languages and considers them all equal under the law. However, this has not always been the case in all sectors of government, specifically in education. Under Apartheid, only English and Afrikaans were considered as official education languages, and as a result, they were developed as mediums of instruction as well as scientific and academic languages. Post the 1994 democratic elections, as a form of redress, inclusive that represented a democratic South Africa were formulated. Part of the redress was in education, specifically, languages use in education. One of the policies that were formulated to drive transformation and redress was the Language Policy for Higher Education, 2002. It formulated to promote multilingualism, to ensure that languages are not barriers to access and success in higher education and to encourage the development of indigenous languages as mediums of instruction and scientific and academic languages. This qualitative study evaluates how higher education institutions have been implementing the policy and assesses the advances made in the development of indigenous African languages for their use as mediums of instruction. Recently, universities in the country have been faced with a wide range of protests from students who have expressed their dissatisfaction with language policies of their respective institutions, stating that they are discriminative and not a reflection of the changing student demographics and a democratic South Africa. The study employs qualitative research methods including, interviews, case studies and secondary sources to better understand how the policy is being implemented, challenges faced institutions and the government to ensure the successful implementation of the policy and the development and use of indigenous languages in higher education. It is true that there has been a lot of changes in South Africa and in higher education since the policy was formulated. The study therefore seeks to discover if any shortfalls exist in the policy which might be a barrier on its successful implementation. Finally, the study takes into consideration the information gathered through data findings and analysis to make commendations by the role players and recommendations for implementing the policy.
Mini Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2017.