DA submits BELA Bill submissions

Issued by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education
13 Jun 2022 in News

Please find attached English and isiXhosa soundbites by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP, and Afrikaans soundbite by Desiree van der Walt MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education.

The DA has submitted our comments on the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill, and encourages the public to submit their concerns to Parliament by 15 June 2022.

It is of crucial importance that the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education receive as many submissions as possible highlighting the problematic clauses of the BELA Bill, including the ‘Lesufi-clauses’ that seeks to remove the power to determine admissions and language policies from school governing bodies while also curtailing the local communities’ ability to oppose the policy changes.

The DA is also concerned about this specific public participation process, which disadvantaged speakers of indigenous languages. While English calls for comment were published in a national paper, calls for comment in the other official languages were only published in regional papers and those speakers were not given the same amount of time to submit their comments.

This draconian Bill has received widespread criticism, with more than 13 000 people who have already signed the DA’s Afrikaans and English petitions opposing the Bill.

The BELA Bill will significantly change the education landscape and will be detrimental to quality mother tongue education for decades to come. The Gauteng MEC of Education, Panyaza Lesufi’s comments on the Bill has made the ANC government’s intention crystal clear. With a track record that perpetually undermines the well-being of South Africans, the DA calls on the public to stop this destructive Bill in its tracks and to submit their concerns in writing to Llewellyn Brown, the secretary of the parliamentary portfolio committee via email to belabill02@parliament.gov.za or online at https://forms.gle/MoC6AdbdQyYPk3Y49 or via WhatsApp: +27 60 550 9848 by no later than 15 June 2022 at 16:00.

We will not give up the fight. We will be consulting with experts and the public over the coming months to present rational alternatives to the BELA Bill, as well as continuing to engage with this Bill in Parliament to ensure that the voice of our supporters and the public at large is heard.