DA will not let ANC bulldoze BELA Bill through Parliament 

Issued by Baxolile 'Bax' Nodada MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education
17 Jul 2023 in News
  • The ANC is trying to bulldoze the draconian Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill through parliament seemingly without due process.
  • The portfolio committee is still awaiting public participation reports and details on how the bill will be funded to name a few. 
  • The DA is calling on the chair of the portfolio committee to ensure that correct processes are being followed.

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

The DA has written to the chair of the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, to request that correct Parliamentary processes be followed with the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill.

The clause-by-clause deliberations have already been scheduled for 15 – 18 August 2023, during the Parliamentary recess period that is meant for Constituency work, yet the committee has not received all public participation reports, both oral and written; a full presentation on the qualitative and quantitative outcomes clause-by-clause; the Department of Basic Education’s comments on the public participation outcomes and on how the entire Bill will be funded; and a report from Parliamentary Legal Services indicating any constitutional implications.

We cannot allow this draconian Bill to simply be bulldozed through Parliament – due process must be followed. The public’s input cannot be a mere tick-box exercise. All comments received must be evaluated and considered.

The DA’s concerns with the Bill, including the disempowerment of schools and school governing bodies (SGBs) to determine their own admission and language policies, the lack of engagement with the homeschooling sector, and the failure to include online and blended learning, seemed to be mirrored by the public participation process in the provinces. It is clear that the BELA Bill in its current form will only further cripple the provision of quality basic education in this country.