The provision of education for minorities in South Africa

  • M.S. Mothata
  • E.M. Lemmer


In the light of a lack of a consensus on the definition of the concept minority and the continuing debates on minorities and their rights in education, policy makers need to consider the adequate provision of education suitable to different minorities. The issue of minority rights in education is particularly sensitive in South Africa where members of previously disadvantaged groups regard the demand for minority protection with suspicion. An overview of the literature on the concept minority, legal provisions in international law and the main provisions in South African law is given. An analysis of documents, especially primary documents, was carried out. Unstructured interviews with a small sample of informants selected by purposeful sampling were used to obtain additional data. Findings indicated that there is no international consensus on the definition of the concept minority; the South African constitution uses the concept communities rather than minorities but in this incidence, no definition is given. However, the South African constitution contains sufficient provisions for the right of communities to education. Subject to certain limitations minority groups may open their own schools and use their own language.

(South African Journal of Education: 2002 22(2): 106-112)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100