The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) yesterday (26 September 2023) rejected the adoption of the BELA Bill in a meeting of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education.
It is our contention that this legislation fails to address the necessary reform needed in education. In our opinion, the Bill is a patch job that creates more jobs for bureaucrats that will not necessarily address the needs of children – especially children in rural areas and towns whose small schools are under threat of closure.
The process of deliberation, in Committee, would have been disheartening for the public who came out to give expression to their views on the proposed legislation. The Committee must give effect to the principles of participatory democracy and must hold the Department of Basic Education (DBE) accountable for their propositions of what should be law versus that what the public says on the proposed law. It is our view that the DBE was given a free pass, and that it was not held fully accountable to respond to the public’s criticism and views of the BELA Bill. The majority party and red overalls merely acted as a rubber stamp for the executive – a failure that will be paid for with taxpayers’ money when this legislation is challenged in court!
It is extremely sad to witness a slap dash process to serve a specific political purpose. The governing party presents this Bill as transformative, but it is not. The BELA Bill will be another failure of our government that is struck down in court, but the blaze-a-path attitude, with tax payers money, is nothing new for this administration under whose watch the incapable State thrives!
The ACDP recognises that true educational reform is urgently needed, to return power to parents, families, and communities, and to ensure access to equal and quality education for all.
The ACDP will continue to work towards this both inside and outside of Parliament.