ANC Gauteng block motions on load-shedding, schools and bullying in LGBTQIA+ communities

The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) cares little about ensuring that our residents receive the service delivery they deserve, while their rights are not protected.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng tabled several motions over the last six months to ensure residents live a quality of life and are protected from bullying and discrimination.

During the last six months, the DA tabled a motion to debate the role of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in improving access to electricity for all Gauteng residents. While Eskom is failing to provide a reliable supply of electricity, residents are again battling stage six loadshedding.

All political parties should be able to provide input and guidance where this government is failing to do so. The ANC, through its majority, rejected the motion in their desire to block accountability for the GPG.

A motion was also submitted to the GPL to end rotational learning at some schools in the province. During our many oversight inspections, we discovered that many schools use the rotational learning system. Furthermore, the disruption to the education system due to the Covid-19 pandemic has put many learners at a disadvantage. Therefore, measures need to be put in place to ensure that all learners are given a chance to catch up on the work that was missed during the pandemic.

The LGBTQIA+ community continues to suffer at the hands of bullies and bigots, not only in their homes but also in schools and the workplace.

The LGBTQIA+ community has been calling on this government to intervene through sensitivity training and educational programmes, proposals which have been disregarded. It was for that reason that the DA brought a motion to establish a sub-committee on LGBTQIA+ to deal with the issues of discrimination and treatment in this community.

Only as recently as October, a grade six learner committed suicide because of alleged bullying by a teacher because of his sexual orientation.

All these motions brought by the DA, which would ensure proper service delivery and protect everyone’s human rights, were turned down by the GPL. It is unacceptable that residents still don’t have a reliable supply of electricity, water, quality education, and a safe environment free of discrimination.

As the DA, we will continue to fight for the rights and services of all residents, as enshrined in our Constitution of 1996.

The DA calls for urgent intervention into Glenvista High school amid claims of assault, bullying and ill-discipline

The DA is calling on the Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi to urgently intervene and resolve a number of issues that are causing a continuous disruption of learning and teaching at Glenvista High School in Johannesburg.

Since the start of the 2022 school year, the school has been facing serious challenges of ill-discipline, fighting and bullying. Some learners have been undergoing disciplinary hearings for bullying the Grade 8 learners after forcing them to do push -ups. A video of this bullying incident went viral on social media.

In another incident, former learners were allowed onto the school premises where they assaulted a learner as well as two other learners and two teachers who tried to stop the assault. A case of assault and trespassing has been opened at Mondeor Police Station.

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL and the DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Education, Sergio Dos Santos MPL, conducted an oversight inspection at the school. They were shocked to witness several learners kicking, screaming hysterically and crying during a prayer session at the school following allegations of demon possession.

The parents of these learners were called to the school to fetch their children.

Furthermore, the School Governing Body (SGB) has been delaying the process of building four additional classrooms at the school to reduce overcrowding in the classrooms despite the funds for the new classrooms being transferred to the school account.

Parents of learners have expressed their concerns at to the continuous disruption of learning and teaching.

The DA believes that bullying and violence has no place at our schools which are meant to be safe places for all learners. We also call on the MEC to ensure that all these issues are addressed without delay to allow the learners to get the best possible education. We will continue to monitor the MEC’s intervention to ensure that schooling continues at Glenvista High School without any further disruptions.

GDE must seek measures to curb bullying at Monument High School, Krugersdorp

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) to investigate a bullying incident captured on video that allegedly occurred today at Monument High School in Krugersdorp.

In a video that is being circulated on social media, one male learner is seen beating up another defenceless learner in front of other learners.

This incident might have occurred during break time on the school grounds.

The video can be downloaded here

The DA condemns in the strongest terms any form of bullying and any form of misconduct.

This incident add up to 296 incidents of bullying and assault that has occurred this year only which is alarming and there is a need for an immediate intervention.

Despite the fact that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has a policy of zero tolerance of bullying such incidents continue to occur at our schools.

The DA believes that it is the responsibility of the department to ensure that schools enforce their codes of conduct to deal with bullying and other disciplinary matters.

They should also work with parents, teachers and law enforcement agencies to ensure that bullying is eradicated in our schools.

We call on the department to investigate this incident and ensure that the learner implicated in this bullying incident is brought to book.

Safety and security of Gauteng schools under threat

 

The DA is particularly concerned with the safety of learners and school staff whilst they are on school premises due to the spate of crime incidents which have recently made headlines.

Schools which were once declared as safe places for children have been turned into crime scenes.

These are just some of the crime incidents that have been reported over the last few weeks:

• This week, the deputy principal of Edalinceba Primary School in Duduza, Ekurhuleni was shot and killed in his office at the school;
• Earlier this month a patroller from Madibane Comprehensive High School in Diepkloof Soweto was shot dead during a robbery of smart boards at the school;
• Just this past week, a 13 year-old learner from Ekurhuleni died of injuries sustained while being bullied on school grounds; and
• A general worker from Skeen Primary School in Alexandra was shot inside the school premises.

The extent to which violence, bullying and murder is now so prevalent in our schools is very worrying, yet both the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and Department of Education are not doing enough to address this issue.

The Department of Community Safety’s patrollers placed at various schools are not trained to deal with the severity of bullying, fighting, drugs and various other crimes that take place on the school grounds on a daily basis.

These patrollers do not have resources such as torches, panic buttons and access to telephones in order to report crime immediately. This programme is wholly inadequate to deal with the enormity of the problem facing our schools.

Schools infrastructure is poor, in most schools there is no fence or the fence is broken making it easy for criminals to gain access to the schools. Some schools do not have panic buttons, alarms and electric fences. Many schools in the province do not have security guards due to a lack of financial resources.

We task both MEC Panyaza Lesufi from the Department of Education and MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane from the Department of Community Safety to ensure that they strengthen security fixtures in our schools.

We will hold both MECs accountable if anything happens to our children, teachers, general workers or patrollers while they are in our schools.