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SolidarityMaroela Media reports that Solidarity said on Thursday that the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill – better known as BELA – was nothing less than “capturing of schools”.

The trade union is one of several organisations that leveled heavy criticism after the proposed legislation was approved by the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday. The Bill was approved by 223 votes in favour and 78 against. It still requires President Cyril Ramaphosa’s signature in order to become law. A meeting between Solidarity, civil rights organisation AfriForum and the Solidarity Support Centre for Schools (SCS), which are joining forces in a legal battle against the legislation, took place on the same day that the Bill was approved. Court documents challenging BELA have apparently been prepared. “We are now seeing the dawn of a tragic new era. This is capturing of schools. The new amended BELA Bill leaves no doubt that the head of the Department of Basic Education has the final authority of language and admission,” Dr Dirk Hermann, chief executive of Solidarity stated. He added that it was clear that the government was now breaching an agreement which had been concluded in 1994 on the protection of language and culture. According to him, “communities are, however, not going to simply accept the government’s attempt to gain control of their schools as well as the brazen breach of the 1994 settlement.” Hermann went on to indicate: “The government is going to realise that it has underestimated the value of education for the Afrikaans community … The battle begins now and one of the concrete actions of this process will be litigation.”

  • Read the full original of the above report in Afrikaans by Mariska Nanni at Maroela Media
  • Read Solidarity’s press statement on this matter at Politicsweb


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