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RyanAir Mandates Afrikaans Language Test For South Africans Before Flying

South Africans have slammed Irish airline Ryanair for requiring them to take an Afrikaans language test on UK flights. The act has been tagged a very unfair practice that would affect the ratings of the airlines within South Africa.

Although this airline serves throughout Europe and North Africa, South Africans coming into the UK will be needed to complete the test if flying with RyanAir.

Although South Africa has 11 official languages, many people claim they cannot understand Afrikaans, which was imposed during white minority rule.

According to sources, the test, which is now being forced on South Africans while flying said airline, contains questions about South Africa’s general knowledge. Ryanair justified the test, claiming that it screens out passengers with forged South African passports.

In a statement released by the airline, it revealed that the need for the language test is due to “high prevalence of fraudulent South African passports.” They further stated that this test will require passengers traveling to the UK to fill out “a simple questionnaire issued in Afrikaans.”

The airline further stated that anyone who is unable to complete the questionnaire will be refused travel and issued a full refund.

Ryanair

Several people have reacted harshly to the news of this new policy, with one person describing it as “bigoted rubbish”. Another individual went as far as describing the event and mentioning just how far South Africa has moved from the time of Apartheid. “Educate yourselves”, the social media user mentioned.

However, Ryanair did not respond to questions from the BBC about why the test had to be taken in Afrikaans rather than any other South African language.

Interestingly, the UK border officials do not require the test. The exam, which according to one account is littered with grammatical and spelling issues, asks questions like what is South Africa’s international dialing number, where is the country’s capital, and who is the country’s current president.

Conrad Steenkamp, the head of the Afrikaans Language Board in South Africa, called it “absurd” and claimed it had hampered efforts to improve the language’s image.

Sadly, because it was forced on local schools, South Africa’s black majority regards Afrikaans as an oppressor’s unpleasant language—or even a language of white racists.

The Soweto Uprising on 16 June 1976 was one of a series of violent demonstrations in which thousands of black students from South African township schools took to the streets to protest the introduction of Afrikaans as a language of teaching.

“I last talked or wrote in that language when I was in high school,” a social media said, reacting to the new policy. In prior white schools, it was a second language, and “we had to acquire strong Afrikaans grades to go to the next grade,” the user added.

Read also; Belgium King To Visit DR Congo After Cruel Exploitation by his Predecessor

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