Pretoria – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says interested parties will get another opportunity make inputs on the draft Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill.
The comments deadline was Friday, 10 November. However, there have been many calls for an extension due to the great public interest.
“Owing to the unexpectedly large number of submissions that were received, the department was unfortunately not able to acknowledge receipt of each submission.
“There was a substantial number of requests for an extension of the 10 November deadline, to which the department was unable to respond.
“To those who did not receive a response to their requests for an extension, and to any other individuals and organisations who were unable to submit their comments by the deadline date, we can give assurances that there will be an additional opportunity, in line with normal policy development processes,” Minister Motshekga said in a statement.
Once the draft bill is introduced into Parliament, it will then be referred to the Portfolio Committee on Education. In considering the draft bill, the Portfolio Committee will once again call for comments on the bill. The Portfolio Committee may hold public hearings in keeping with the normal practice.
All individuals and organisations who have missed the deadline for this round of comments will therefore have a further opportunity to provide inputs on the draft bill once it has been introduced into Parliament, said Minister Motshekga.
She thanked the public for their comments, saying they will be diligently considered.
The draft bill proposes to amend the South African Schools Act (SASA), 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996), the Employment of Educators Act (EEA), 1998 (Act No. 76 of 1898) to align them with developments in the education landscape.
It also aims to ensure that systems of learning and excellence in education are put in place in a manner that respects, protects, promotes and fulfils the right to basic education enshrined in section 29(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
Certain technical and substantive adjustments are also made to the SASA and EEA to clarify certain existing provisions and to insert certain provisions to cover matters that are not provided for in the existing legislation.