20 Sep 2000

20 September 2000



The Education Laws Amendment Bill will amend three pieces of existing legislation - the South
African Qualifications Authority, South African Schools and Employment of Educators Acts. The
ANC Government is committed to constantly reviewing laws passed by Parliament to ensure that
they have the intended outcomes for the people on the ground. This provides a mechanism to
fuse developments in ANC policy and difficulties experienced in the implementation of legislation
into new, better legislation. This Bill will correct some of the problems in the 29 000 schools in
our country. It shows that the ANC is serious about transforming all schools into places of
excellence where learners can receive quality education in secure learning environments. With
this Bill the ANC sets the perimeters within which committed teachers can teach, learners can
learn and managers can manage effectively.

People Participating in Educating the Nation

The Bill aims to increase the representation of trade unions on the South African Qualifications
Authority from two to three. This will broaden the inputs from ordinary South Africans into the
Authority, contributing to the enrichment of the institution with views from people on the ground.

The Education Laws Amendment Bill supports the philosophy of fair representivity of parents
from all backgrounds on school governing bodies, even where those parents are in a minority.
The Education Committee considers the matter to be both important and sensitive; an appropriate
way of ensuring that school governing bodies are more representative is being investigated.

Making Education Secure for All

The Bill introduces the notions of serious misconduct and incapacity on the part of teachers and
school managers to ensure that learners learn in a secure environment. The ANC Government
sends out a clear signal to teachers and managers who may abuse, or wish to abuse, their
authority over learners in various negative ways. The Bill clearly differentiates between those
acts that constitute serious and less serious misconducts, outlines the disciplinary procedure and
introduces two new concepts namely counselling and rehabilitation programmes for transgressing
teachers. At the same time it allows for teachers to be suspended summarily with full pay to
expedite the finalisation of disciplinary procedures.

Other Important Education Bills

The Adult Education and Basic Education and Training Bill will ensure that everyone has the right,
and access, to basic education, including adult basic education. It provides for the establishment
and registration of both public and private adult learning centres. The Bill also enables public
schools and ABET centres to operate in partnership to eradicate the scourge of illiteracy that
hampers economic growth in South Africa.

The Higher Education Amendment Bill gives the Registrar of higher education institution
discretionary powers to decide whether or not to register an institution even if it meets the set
criteria for registration. The Government is concerned about the recent drop in enrolment figures
at local universities, especially previously black universities. That is why the Bill distinguishes
between local and foreign institutions that apply for registration, and attempt to control the influx
of foreign institutions and the rapid growth in the number of private higher education institutions.
The Bill will balance the human resource needs of the country and quality assurance on one hand
with the right to register an institution on the other.


The Developmental Welfare Governance Bill

The ANC Government is committed to a developmental social welfare approach, aimed at
building a self-reliant nation in partnership with all stakeholders. The Government will achieve this
through an integrated social welfare system that maximises existing potential, and that is based
on the progressive principles of equity, sustainability, equal access and people-centredness. This
will reverse the inadequacy of governance structures - which lacked legitimacy and inclusivity
and perpetuated disparity and selective service delivery - established under apartheid rule.

In the main the Bill provides for the establishment, objects and functions of the South African
Developmental Welfare Council
. The main objectives of this Council are to:

advise the Minister on:

  • measures to promote the transformation and continuous improvement of welfare

  • measures to promote social development initiatives

  • measures to promote poverty relief, poverty reduction and poverty eradication

  • measures to include local government in the provision of welfare services

  • proposals for new legislative frameworks for the welfare sector and amendments
    to existing welfare laws

  • the introduction of local and international best practices in welfare services

act as a consultative forum for the Minister to discuss:

  • improving the quality of provincial and national welfare governance

  • introducing new policy and successful policy implementation in the public and
    NGO environment

  • facilitating consultation on the implementation of developmental social welfare
    between stakeholders and Government

The ANC Government continues to redress the past inadequacies of apartheid governance
mechanisms and imbalances of service delivery. It acknowledges the need for appropriate,
legitimate, transparent and effective governance structures. This Bill is part of the overall
transformation of the welfare system from one that was geared toward selective delivery to a
minority to one that is developmental and delivers to the majority of South Africans.


Transformation of South African society, spearheaded by the ANC Government, has firmly taken
root over the last six years. The past year allowed us to review the implementation and effects
of the bulk of transformatory legislation that it has passed, and sometimes had to fight for
against a barrage of opposition from those opposed to change. We will continue to review
existing laws and improve them in spite of the efforts of those forces and continue to bring a
better life for the many, not just the few.

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