Kaaps: Time for the language of the Cape Flats to become part of formal schooling


  • Michael le Cordeur Stellenbosch University




Throughout the centuries, language has always been a prerequisite for tuition and learning. This contribution is based on the universal theme of language as bearer of cultural identity and the role it plays in South African education, specifically regarding literacy. The focus falls on especially one variant of Afrikaans, known as Kaaps, and the role that it plays regarding the individual and group identity of the group of people who were classified as Coloureds during apartheid1 and marginalized by poverty, place of residence and race. The research  question is whether Kaaps can make a contribution to the successful delivery of the school curriculum in those schools which are mainly attended by the so-called 'Coloureds' on the Cape Flats. The methodology chiefly entails a literature review. From a socio-historical perspective the article reflects on the history of Kaaps since the early 1600s, and what role it plays in the development of Afrikaans. The literature study supplies the  theoretical framework for reflection on Kaaps. The focus is on the influence of Kaaps on its speakers' perception of their identity; the conflict of Kaaps with Standard Afrikaans; the current status of Kaaps in the Coloured population; the restandardization of Afrikaans, and to what extent, if any, Kaap comes into its own in South African schools. The study comes to the conclusion that learners who grew up with Kaaps, are disadvantaged at school and that the language should be utilized more inclusively.




How to Cite

le Cordeur, M. (2018). Kaaps: Time for the language of the Cape Flats to become part of formal schooling. Multilingual Margins: A Journal of Multilingualism from the Periphery, 3(2), 83–103. https://doi.org/10.14426/mm.v3i2.251