DA encourages public to attend NW BELA public meetings en masse

Issued by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education
10 Mar 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP.

Despite letters from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) effectively instructing principals, Chief Education Specialists (CESs), and Deputy CESs to limit attendees of the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill to principals and student governing body (SGB) chairs, the DA encourages all members of communities to attend the hearings.

No parent, teachers, SGB member, stakeholder, or member of a community may be barred from voicing their objections or opinions at public participation hearings. Public participation is a crucial constitutional imperative for parliament and the DA for one welcomes submissions from all stakeholders.

We have a number of concerns with the BELA Bill in its current form being abused to target the rights of parents to make decisions regarding their children’s education, especially the clauses that seek to disempower schools and SGBs from determining their schools’ admission and language policies.

The ANC’s past behaviour has made it clear that schools with a single language of instruction, particularly Afrikaans schools, would be forced to change their language policies, thereby depriving learners of the benefit of their constitutional right to mother tongue education.

It seems that the Department is trying to limit the communities’ involvement in the public hearings and so create a perception that the Bill is widely supported.

The DA will continue to oppose this draconian Bill and invite all members of the public to attend the hearings in the North West this weekend.

North West  
Date Area Local municipality Education District Venue Time
Friday, 10 March Rustenburg Rustenburg Local Municipality Bojanala Education District Rustenburg City Hall (Civic Centre) 14:30 – 16:30
Saturday, 11 March Mafikeng Mahikeng Local Municipality Ngaka Modiri Molema Education District Mafikeng Town Hall 14:30 – 16:30
Sunday, 12 March Vryburg Naledi Local Municipality Dr Ruth Mompati Education District Vryburg Town Hall (Banquet Hall) 12:00 – 16:00