Policy regarding offensive language and terminology
In line with national policy, the use of hurtful, offensive or discriminatory language and terminology is frowned upon, and in some cases even categorically forbidden, in South Africa today. For this reason our basic policy is that all contributors should shun such usage in their own writing.
Much of the ESAT content however is based on historical materials and research, and such terms may occur in the titles and content of the material and plays cited. For example there are numerous contentious terms of differentiation between race, religion, sexual orientation, political views, etc., which are not only found in numerous books, novels, poems and plays from the 18th to the 2ist century, a number of them classic works, but also in the numerous commentaries on such works. In addition a number of formerly acceptable but now spurned or proscribed racial terms were given as names for plants, places, rivers, mountains, and so on.
However, while many names of places and things are being changed, the role of the terms in the arts remain a complex matter, since anyone writing about racial abuse and oppression for example, will use the terms to demonstrate the issues they are raising. Similarly, when citing form older texts offensive and terms of abuse will obviously be cited as well.
For example, a 2018 edition of Woza Albert!, the iconic play from the struggle period of the 1980s, still has all those terms, the argument being cleaning up the text by changing them or excising them would make the play meaningless. Keeping them there maintains - perhaps even enhances - the shock effect of the play. Similarly Mark Mathabane's 1986 autobiography Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa exploits precisely that reaction to excellent effect to expose the harsh reality of the times.
Other such contentious terms of differentiation used over the centuries in Southern Africa, and appearing in the plays and literature, include: Bushman, Hottentot, Kaffir, Bantu, White / Non White, European / Non European.