Stop the BELA Bill. Stop school capture

Please find attached soundbite by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP

The deadline for submitting public comments on the discriminatory BELA Bill is Monday, 15 August 2022.

It is crucial that the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education receive as many submissions as possible highlighting the problematic clauses of the BELA Bill, in particular the ‘Lesufi-clauses’. This clause seeks to remove the power of School governing bodies to determine admissions and language policies (among others) while also curtailing the local communities’ ability to oppose the policy changes.

By robbing governing bodies of these powers, the Department of Basic Education plans to centralise control over public schools – not in the hands of the communities and parents who know what is best for their children, but in the hands of loyal ANC cadres like Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi who seek to capture public schools.

Furthermore, the BELA Bill:

  • Fails to take into account the practical implications of making grade R compulsory;
  • Takes the decision of final admission away from school governing boards without allowing for a more nuanced appeal mechanism;
  • Removes power over a school’s language policy and places it in the hands of Head of the Department of Basic Education;
  • The clauses regarding home schooling fail to take into account the various concerns of the stakeholders; and
  • The Bill is also missing an opportunity to effectively regulate online and blended learning to alleviate the pressure on physical schooling.

This draconian Bill has received widespread criticism, with signatures that oppose it in the DA’s Afrikaans and English petitions fast approaching 20 000.

The BELA Bill will significantly change the educational landscape to the detriment of our youth for decades to come.

The DA calls on public to stop this destructive and discriminatory 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 August 2022 at 16:00.