Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

education thumb100 Mail & Guardian reports that according to Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya, the Basic Education Law Amendment (Bela) Bill will probably not be signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa before the new administration takes its seats in the National Assembly (NA).

It will be up to the new administration to decide by a motion of the house whether the bill should go through the National Assembly again for reconsideration, or if it should proceed to the President to be signed into law. The Bill, first drafted in 2017, proposes the biggest update to education law in the past decade. It seeks to amend the 1996 SA Schools Act and the 1998 Employment of Educators Act to align them with “developments in the education landscape”. Amongst other aims, the Bill controversially seeks to revise the admission and language policies of schools, by transferring decision-making authority from the school governing body (SGB) to the provincial head of department (HOD). This change was prompted by instances of discriminatory admission practices observed in some schools. But it has faced opposition, including from the Democratic Alliance (DA), which says the bill cannot “fix the education system” by “centralising power into the hands of unelected bureaucrats”. According to a Constitutional Court ruling in 2019, SGBs have the power to determine the school language policies. But the court warned that should the SGB adopt policies that were not in line with the constitutional right to basic education, the HOD should intervene. “The bill hands extensive decision-making power to the heads of provincial basic education departments, diminishing the role of SGBs and local communities in determining language and admissions policies,” the DA’s shadow education minister, Baxolile Nodada pointed out. The DA said it has been advocating for “mother tongue” languages, but the SGB should determine the decision on language policies.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Umamah Bakharia at Mail & Guardian

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