100 000 say no to amendment bill on Basic Education Act – Solidarity

Movement says if govt presses ahead with legislation it will fight to have it declared unconstitutional

100 000 “No’s” for controversial amendment bill on the Basic Education Act 

13 November 2017

Delegates of the trade union Solidarity and Solidarity Helping Hand today submitted the complete comments about the amendment bill on the Basic Education Act at the offices of the Deputy Director General of Education. The receipt of the almost 100 000 individual comments of parents, grandparents and teachers was also acknowledged by the office.

Objections and general comments on the amendment bill of the Basic Education Act from tens of thousands of worried parents, teachers and members of the community has continuously poured in since 26 October 2017 on Solidarity’s #FORschools platform on the trade union’s website. “It is clear that there is great worry amongst the community about the possible implementation of the amendment bill. “We want to make sure that the Department of Basic Education receives the public’s comments and that they reflect on the implications of it, should it be implemented,” said Flip Buys, Chairperson of the Solidarity Movement.

The two institutions requested a further discussion during the occasion to discuss the main objectives that emerged from the public participation process on their website. 

“The public participation process is now over. We believe there is a good chance that the amendment bill will have to be returned for adjustments after the large number of complaints we have submitted. However, if it is implemented, Solidarity will start with a litigation process to declare the legislation unconstitutional. Such a court case does take very long and for this reason the trade union is working together with Helping Hand’s School Support Centre (SOS) to empower schools with information about privatization. All public schools and even home schools will be affected negatively by the amendment bill. It is only private schools that largely maintain control over their actions. This is thus a long-term solution that we have to work on now already. This will be the biggest community project in our history,” said Buys. 

To read Solidarity's submissions on the Basic Education laws amendment bill, click here.

Issued by Francois Redelinghuys, Communication manager, Solidarity, 13 November 2017