The DA welcomes the postponement of the public participation hearings that was scheduled to take place the next two weekends in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng regarding the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill after the shambles of the past weekend’s hearings.
Parliament has completely botched the past weekend’s hearings in Mpumalanga, which resulted in the hearings in Ermelo being cancelled completely. This particular hearing will have to be rescheduled as well.
Parliament needs to ensure that the rescheduled public hearings are bulletproof – the ball cannot be dropped again on educating the public on the particulars of the Bill, advertising the hearings and mobilising the communities and stakeholders to attend them, and organising suitable venues and transportation. Unless due diligence is done, Parliament will compromise its constitutional obligation in this regard.
The DA will continue to hold Parliament accountable and ensure that the hearings are more than just a box-ticking exercise. We highly value public input and have raised a number of concerns already. We will continue to speak out against any and all procedures and processes that seems to indicate a capture or purposeful derailment of the process.