The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education considered and adopted draft reports on public hearings on the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill in three provinces - Limpopo, North West and the Free State. Changes to the Free State and North West reports were proposed before they were adopted.
The Chairperson noted apologies from Ms N Adoons (ANC) and Ms M Sukers (ACDP). She said the Committee would consider and adopt the draft reports on provincial public hearings on the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA Bill).
Ms Portia Mbude-Mutshekwane, Committee Content Advisor, took the Committee through the draft report on the public hearings in Limpopo Province.
She said the report outlined the purpose of the public hearings and why the public should participate in them.
Mr P Moroatshehla (ANC) asked what was meant by “noting” the report. When was the Committee going to adopt the report?
The Chairperson replied that that was what the Committee was currently doing.
The Committee was happy with the contents of the report.
The Committee turned to the draft report on public hearings in the North West Province.
Mr B Nodada (DA) said the report was confusing. It listed Limpopo attendees instead of the North West attendees. It appeared to be a copy and paste from the Limpopo report. A correction also needed to be made to the section that talked about public schools. The report referred to 204 000 public schools. He believed that the correct number should be 24 000. A third correction was that this particular report, unlike the others, did not show graphs indicating contentious clauses and levels of support. It should be ensured that the reports were uniform so that there was consistency. Lastly, the text referred to “69 that did not support” but the table said that the number was 71. That inconsistency should be fixed.
Mr Moroatshehla said that Mr Nodada made a lot of sense. The Committee should not adopt a report if the people who were supposed to effect changes had not done so correctly. The Committee needed to get confirmation from them. Secondly, was the North West the first, second, or third province that the Committee visited? If it was the third one, then he asked that the Committee adopt the reports in the order in which the Committee visited the provinces. This sequence would assist in the debating stage. The reports would be brought back to the Committee by the legal office and parliamentary committees. The present meeting was for the Committee to confirm that what had transpired was recorded.
The Chairperson requested that the Committee secretary refrains from copying and pasting content from one document to another.
Mr Nodada moved for the adoption of the report.
Mr Moroatshehla seconded the motion.
The Committee turned to the report on the public hearings in the Free State Province.
Mr Nodada stated that this report did not indicate how many people made oral submissions and how many made written submissions in comparison to the total number of attendees. For example, the North West report would say that there were 1 200 people that attended, that maybe 190 spoke and 320 made submissions. There was a difference between the number of people that attended and the number who actually made submissions. The Free State report did not reflect that. Could it please be updated? On the contentious clauses, the report did not refer to clause four. The other reports always paired clauses four and five as contentious. The report needed to be updated so that it was in line with other reports. Everything else about the report was fine. He believed that the Committee must consider these reports when it did the clause-by-clause deliberations.
Mr Nodada moved to adopt the report with the proposed changes.
Mr Moroatshehla said that there was a difference from the semantic point of view between accepting the report and moving for the adoption of the report. He requested that Mr Nodada be clear about his motion to adopt the report. He then seconded the motion to adopt the report with the proposed changes.
The Chairperson asked the Committee secretary to effect the proposed changes so that the reports resembled the Limpopo report.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.
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