Scrap DA’s bad law plan with schools!
13 August 2018
It has become abundantly clear that the DA’s ill-conceived Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Bill is bad for state schools and learners – It should be scrapped.
The ANC says Western Cape premier Helen Zille and her DA cabinet’s plan with schools generated a general outcry especially for its support of the sale of alcohol at schools guised as ‘fund raising’.
Wide ranging legal opinion now clearly indicates that this Zille Bill cannot stand as it is irreconcilable with national education legislation that prohibits the possession and use of alcohol during any school activity – within or outside the premises.
The Zille Bill wants to make it lawful to consume and sell alcohol on and off school premises or activities held on school premises.
The Zille Bill is also plainly in conflict with national legislation that provides for parents to be the majority at school governing bodies and have the final say, while the Western Cape attempts to give sponsors of schools half of the say (with fifty percent or more of the voting power) with the rest shared by educators, learners, staff, co-opted members and parents at so-called cooperative schools. These are outsourced facilities where public schools will be run like private institutions on state land and a surrender of parents’ rights to people with money.
The Zille Bill also seems to be giving provincial laws dominance over a national Act. Furthermore draconian broad law-making powers are granted to the provincial MEC, which is not justified in an open and democratic society where public (inclusive of parents) participation is crucial on policy issues.
ANC Western Cape education spokesperson Theo Olivier says: “The DA’s attitude towards alcohol and (ab)use thereof is alarming in a province where excessive alcohol (ab)use is a very serious problem in many poor communities. They will be hardest hit by this irresponsible DA-plan!
“Our communities have a long standing fight to remove shebeens near schools and now the Western Cape government led by DA premier Zille wants to allow shebeens and alcohol sales in schools!
“The outrageous plan to legalise alcohol sales at schools makes mockery of the provincial government’s so-called alcohol harms reduction priority game changer that is now clearly out of the window…
“Zille and her cabinet approved the amendment to allow alcohol sales at schools ignoring the outcry by communities and experts against this unfortunate plan. Alcohol (ab)use will now be glorified and used in school facilities and on school property.
“The message is confusing as it will tell impressionable young learners: It is cool to drink. It will also be right for them to encounter and see drunken people at school! This is just unacceptable.
“The ANC therefore calls on the Western Cape legislature to wholly reject this bad bill or the ANC will have to take further action to stop it! Alcohol popularisation at our schools is not educationally sound at a learning institution for under aged children. We don’t want our children to learn to drink alcohol at schools. They first have to study a lot of other things.”
Issued by Cobus Grobler on behalf of the ANC, 13 August 2018