SA schools to introduce Mandarin next year

South African state schools will introduce Mandarin lessons next year in a bid to bolster cultural relations with China, its largest trading partner, a government official said on Wednesday.

Basic Education spokesman Elijah Mhlanga told AFP that South Africa hopes to teach Mandarin to “as many people as far as practically possible”.

Mhlanga said that the programme – part of a 10-year plan signed by President Jacob Zuma in December last year – was already under way.

“There are teachers who travel to China for training while China has and will bring trainers into the country to support us,” said Mhlanga, adding that China was footing the bill for the training.

But the decision to introduce the language has outraged the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), which said it was “tantamount to a new form of colonisation”.

“Sadtu rejects this imposition with the contempt it deserves,” said the union’s general secretary Mugwena Maluleke.

“We will prioritise African languages in order to build social cohesion.”

The roll-out of Mandarin will see China training hundreds of South African teachers and building three Confucius Institutes, research centres similar to Germany’s Goethe-Institut designed to promote Chinese culture.

In 2009, China became South Africa’s largest trading partner.

But the trade balance has been skewed in favour of China, with Africa’s most developed economy exporting raw materials and importing manufactured goods, causing concern that the trade between the two countries is not a mutually beneficial relationship.

Source: IOL

  • Nevyn

    We have no identity in this country, all part the plan, this stuff makes me want to take up arms against this bunch of contolled aholes known as the anc and thier little offshoot the DA.

    This is why as a soutie I will gladly embrace the boere culture, it give us an identity, that to me was the one mistake we made druing aparthied, we shoudl have just become one culture. most souties I know would not agree with that though, mores the pity.

    • James

      They only need to know how to say Baas in Mandarin. Then again China will just what they did in Namibia and Angola and bring their own people in to do the job. Crap that is how the Indians ended up in South Africa in the sugarcane plantations.

      As for taking up arms. Sit and watch as the blacks take up arms and legs when the gravy runs out of the train. Its going to get ugly. Best to get a generator and food to store.

    • Rooikop

      I know a lot of English speaking people in this country with real “boere harte” – Nice people, all of them. 🙂

  • Andrea

    And when this bright brain fart fails miserably, will Apartheid be blamed again? Hou baas, hoekom djy leer os nie die tjaina by die bantu education nie?

  • Karel Combrinck

    Of course there can be nothing wrong with learning Mandarin as such. Personally I would have loved the opportunity to learn it at school. However, when it is done purely to ingratiate oneself to the Chinese from the faulty premise of racial affinity, then it becomes nauseating. There is simply no racial similarity or affinity between Africans and Chinese, although the Chinese may play that card for purely commercial reasons. Judged from the way South African blacks write and speak English, it is doubtful whether they will ever learn two words of Mandarin anyway.