Adult Basic Education & Training; Education Laws Amendment Bills: discussion & voting

Basic Education

23 August 2000
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Meeting Summary

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration gave briefing on its 2006/07 Annual Report. The presentation focused on the CCMA new three-yrar revival strategy, the new organisational structure, operational achievements in 2006/07, qualitative improvements, financial results and its areas of focus, challenges and interest.

Members of the Committee commended the CCMA for its low staff turnover and the targets achieved in 2006/07which were ascribed to good teamwork and internal training. The call centre initiative was termed a quick fix but the CCMA pointed out that evaluation studies had shown that it had had a positive impact. Skills development initiatives by the CCMA were also discussed.

Meeting report

ADULT BASIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING BILL, EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL: FORMAL STAGE & VOTING

EDUCATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
24 August 2000
ADULT BASIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING BILL, EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL: FORMAL STAGE & VOTING

Relevant Documents:
Adult Basic Education And Training Bill [B42 - 2000]
Education Laws Amendment Bill - [B48 - 2000]


Chairperson: Professor S Mayatula

SUMMARY
The Committee met to vote on the Adult Basic Education and Training Bill and the Education Laws Amendment Bill. Both Bills were passed with the amendments proposed by the ANC in the previous meeting (22 August 2000).

The Minister, Mr Asmal, was present at the meeting. Referring to the committee's deletion of Clause 5, he explained that racial representation on school governing bodies had been included in the Bill at his request and based on his visits to schools which showed that governing bodies were still not representative. He explained that he would make provision for this in the regulations in terms of the South African Schools Act.

MINUTES
The Committee voted on the Bill as follows:

Adult Basic Education and Training Bill
The Chairperson put the motion of desirability before the Committee and it was agreed to.

The Preamble - agreed to.
The Contents - agreed to.

Chapter 1 - agreed to.

Chapter 2
Clause 3 - agreed to.

Clause 4
- Ms M Njobe (ANC) proposed that clause 4(e) be substituted by:
"access to school facilities by all interested parties;"
The clause was agreed to with the amendment.

Clauses 5 and 6 - agreed to.

Chapter 3
Clause 7- agreed to.

Clause 8
- Ms Njobe proposed in clause 8(2)(e) after the words "disabled persons" to insert "where applicable".
The subclause was agreed to with the amendment.

- She proposed in clause 8(2)(f) after the word "training" to insert "where applicable".

- Mr C Aucamp (AEB) proposed that the words "where available" be inserted instead of "where applicable" because an expert in adult education may not be available in a public centre.

Mr Boshoff, Legal Advisor in the Department said that he has discussed the matter with the State Law Advisors and as a technical team they have agreed that "where applicable" is the more suitable formulation.

The subclause was agreed to as with the amendment as proposed by Ms Njobe.

- Ms Njobe proposed in clause 8(6)(a) after the words "subsection (2)" to omit "may" and substitute "must".
The subclause was agreed to with the amendment.

Mr Boshoff pointed out that as the Committee had instructed the Department to look at providing for a governing body in a new school this is already accommodated by Clause 8 (10).

Clauses 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 - agreed to.

Chapter 4
Clauses 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - agreed to.

Chapter 5
Clauses 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 - agreed to.

Chapter 6
Clauses 32, 33 - agreed to.

Clause 34
Ms Njobe said the ANC feels there is no clarity in the line of reporting carried in the provision. She proposed that after "made" the words "to the Minister" should be inserted.
The clause was agreed to with the amendment.

Chapter 7
Clauses 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 - agreed to.

Chapter 8
Clauses 42, 43, 44 agreed to.

The Chairperson read the report of the Committee and it was agreed to whereupon he signed it.

Education Laws Amendment Bill
The Chairperson put the motion of desirability before the Committee and it was agreed to.

Long title - agree to.

Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 - agreed to.

Clause 5
Mr Ntuli (DP) said the DP rejects this clause.
Mr L Kgwele (ANC) said he is happy to hear that the rejection of the clause as proposed by the ANC has the support of the opposition.
The disapproval of the clause was agreed to.

The Minister of Education, Professor Kader Asmal, noting that it is rather unusual for a Minister to be intervening at this stage of the Bill, said the inclusion of the clause was at his request because of observations made after visits to schools. He said there are schools where the racial composition of learners has changed dramatically but the school governing bodies still exclude the Black parents altogether. A case was made of Vryburg where there is about 100 Black learners and about 600 White learners but no Black parents on the school's governing body. Also in KwaZulu-Natal, White schools still exclude Black parents from their governing bodies. The Minister mentioned he would be making regulations on the issue of representativity in terms of the South African Schools Act.

Mr De Beer said he would like to reassure the Minister that the UDM supports representation in schools but that the way the Bill had proposed it should be done, was not supported.

Clause 6 and 7 - agreed on.

Clause 8
Mr Kgwele said the ANC would like to have the words "in a temporary capacity" inserted after the word "transfer" in subclause (e).
The clause was agreed to with the amendment.

Clauses 9 and 10 - agreed to.

Clause 11 - agreed to.

Clause 12
- Mr Kgwele said the ANC proposes the following amendments to the clause:
In section 18(1) to exclude "An" and insert "Misconduct refers to a breakdown in the employment relationship and an".
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed under section 18(1) to omit paragraph (a) and to substitute"
"(a) fails to comply with or contravenes this Act or any other statute, regulation or legal obligation relating to education and the employment relationship"
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed under section 18(1)(f) before "prejudices" to insert "unjustifiably".
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed under section 18(1)(k) after the word "sex" to insert:
"pregnancy, marital status, ethnic and social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, birth, family responsibility, HIV status, political opinion"
Mr Boshoff added that this addition would be to the existing formulation in the section so that in the end it would bring out the essence of the amendment proposed by the ANC in the last meeting.
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed under section 18(1) to omit paragraph (v) and to substitute:
"(v) prevents other employees from exercising their rights to freely associate with trade unions in terms of any labour legislation"
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed under section 18(1)(cc)(ii) after "Schedule 1" to insert "and in accordance with section 7 of the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998)
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed under section 18(1)(cc)(iii) after "Schedule 1;" to omit "or"
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed after section 18(1)(dd) to insert:
"(ee) commits an act of dishonesty; or
(ff) victimises an employee for, amongst others, his or her association with a trade union."
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed in section 18(3)(i) after "dismissal" to insert ", if the nature or extent of the misconduct warrants a dismissal".
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed after section 18(4) to insert:
"(5) An educator may be dismissed if he or she is found guilty of -
(a) dishonesty;
(b) victimising an employee, for among others, his or her association with a trade union, as contemplated in subsection (1)(ff);
(c) unfair discrimination, as contemplated in subsection (1)(k);
(d) rape, as contemplated in subsection (1)(dd);
(e) murder, as contemplated in subsection (1)(dd);
(f) contravening section 10 of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996), as contemplated in subsection (1)(dd)."
The amendment was agreed to.

Mr C Aucamp (AE) said he finds it disturbing that clause 11 refers to "serious misconduct" and clause 12 refers just to "misconduct" whilst it also contains serious offences such as rape and murder.

Advocate Boshoff responded that "serious misconduct" under clause 11 relates to an institution and specifically as affecting the rights of a learner. He emphasised that "misconduct" under clause 12 is still serious but that when drafted the difference in naming the headings was an attempt to capture the seriousness of the consequences that follow particular acts. He suggested that a formulation under clause 12 may be drafted to say "Misconduct and other serious misconduct" to address the concerns of the member.

Mr van den Heever (ANC) suggested that the Committee should stick with the headings as they currently are unless a vote was required by the members on the issue. The Committee agreed to leave the headings as they appear in the Bill.

Clauses 13, 14 and 15 - agreed to.

Clause 16
- Mr Kgwele proposed in item 1(2)(b) under Schedule 1 to omit "established by the employer" and to substitute "as contemplated in item 2(2)"
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed a new item 2(2) under Schedule 1 to read:
"(2) The performance of educators must be evaluated according to performance indicators agreed upon by the parties to Educators Labour Relations Council".
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed in the place of item 2(5) under Schedule 1 to insert:
"(5)(a) Before transferring or demoting an educator or termination of his or her services for poor performance, the employer must convene an enquiry in order to give the educator the opportunity to make representations in response to the allegations against him or her, which shall include the right to-
(i) call, examine and cross-examine witnesses;
(ii) bring all relevant documentation to the attention of the person presiding over the enquiry, and have access to documents produced in evidence by the employer;
(iii) be represented at the proceedings by a co-employee or trade union representative;
(iv) have an interpreter present if the educator so requires;
(v) lead all relevant evidence, including evidence in mitigation of sentence, if necessary
(b) The provisions of items 5, 7, 8 and 9 of Schedule 2 apply to these enquiries, read with the changes required by the context."
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed in item 3(3)(a) under Schedule 1 to omit "The" and to insert:
"Subject to section 7 of the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998), the"
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed after item 3(7) under Schedule 1 to insert:
"(8)(a) Before acting in accordance with subitem (6), the employer must convene an inquiry in order to give the educator the opportunity to make representations in response to the allegations against him or her, which shall include the right to-
(i) call, examine and cross-examine witnesses;
(ii) bring all relevant documentation to the attention of the person presiding over the enquiry, and have access to documents produced in evidence by the employer;
(iii) be represented at the proceedings by a co-employee or trade union representative;
(iv) have an interpreter present if the educator so requires;
(v) lead all relevant evidence, including evidence in mitigation of sentence, if necessary
(b) The provisions of items 5, 7, 8 and 9 of Schedule 2 apply to these enquiries, read with the changes required by the context."
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed in item 3(2)(b) under Schedule 2 to omit "The" and to insert:
"After consultation with the trade unions, the"
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele propose in item 4(6)(b)(i) under Schedule 2 after "representative" to insert:
"or other employee"
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed in item 7(13)(c) to omit "posted" and to substitute:
"received by the educator as indicated by the post office"
The amendment was agreed to.

- Mr Kgwele proposed under FORM E NOTICE OF APPEAL after the word "enquiry" to omit "and the record of the hearing".
The amendment was agreed to.

The rest of the provisions of the Bill were agreed to.
The Report of the Committee was agreed to and the Chairperson proceeded to sign it. The meeting was adjourned.


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