Who really speaks Afrikaans?

South Africa
Recent data reveals that more black, coloured and Indian South Africans speak Afrikaans at home more than white South Africans. Picture: eNCA

Johannesburg - More black, coloured, and Indian South Africans speak Afrikaans at home than white South Africans, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Monday.

According to a recent SAIRR study, based on data from the 2011 census, only 40 percent of those who speak Afrikaans at home are whites.

This means that out of 6.9 million people who speak the language at home, 2.7 million are white, while the rest are from other racial groups.

English is the home language of almost five million South Africans; of these, 1.6 million (or 34 percent) are white.

Almost 1.2 million black South Africans have English as their mother tongue, while coloured people and Indians accounted for nearly 950,000 and 1.1 million, respectively.

SAIRR researcher Thuthukani Ndebele said English was only the fourth most-spoken home language, but was the preferred language of learning in South Africa.

"About 64 percent of the 11.5 million pupils in public schools in 2010 chose to be taught in English, reflecting a global trend for the preference of the language."

Internationally, at least one-in-four people speak English with some level of competence.

IsiZulu was the most common home language in South Africa, with 11.6 million South Africans listing it as their mother tongue.

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