BELA Bill: DA victory ensures public voices will be heard

Issued by Baxolile 'Bax' Nodada MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education
29 Aug 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP.

Parliament agreed with the DA today that the thousands of email submissions yet to be analysed as part of the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill must be processed. The DA has always maintained that the public participation process cannot be minimised and that no submissions can be discarded, and we are gratified that the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education has finally seen reason on this.

Despite the ANC’s attempts to push the BELA Bill through Parliament, the DA will not allow the voices of thousands of individuals to be silenced. Parliament’s agreement that the submissions must be analysed shows that the DA and other opposition parties were correct and justified in breaking quorum two weeks ago and walking out.

The DA will write to the committee chair, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, to request that due process is followed, including the presentation of a qualitative and quantitative matrix of all submissions on each clause of the BELA Bill as they might have a significant impact on the A-list and the continued deliberations of the Bill.

The DA will do everything in our power to ensure that all laws that pass through Parliament – including legislation on education – are in the best interest of the people. Learners already have an uphill battle with the country’s subpar education system.

We will not allow a draconian Bill that seeks to disempower communities and school governing bodies (SGBs) and centralise power, a Bill that fails to incorporate the concerns and suggestions from the homeschooling sector and does not address online or blended learning, nor the severe systemic problems of the basic education sector, to be bulldozed through Parliament. We will continue to fight for good quality education for South African children.

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