Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill: Final Mandates & Finalisation

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

02 May 2024
Chairperson: Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC, Limpopo)
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Meeting Summary


The Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sport, Arts and Culture held a virtual meeting to consider the final provincial mandates on the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill [B2D-2022].

Provincial representatives provided their final mandates on the BELA Bill. The Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Free State, and Mpumalanga supported the Bill, mandating their delegates accordingly. The Western Cape opposed the Bill. Northern Cape's support for the Bill was affirmed, albeit with administrative issues.

The Committee then considered and adopted its report, signalling that the Select Committee supported the BELA Bill. Eight provinces supported the report, while the Western Cape opposed it. For the record, a Member noted a minority view from the Freedom Front Plus in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

The Chairperson expressed gratitude to Members, recognising their roles in the Bill's processing.

Meeting report

The Committee Secretariat announced that it was 10:00 and confirmed that the quorum had been formed, signalling that the meeting could commence.

The Chairperson welcomed all guests to the meeting and inquired if the Members wished to add any items to the agenda.

With no hands raised, he requested the adoption of the agenda, which the Members agreed to.

Following the adoption of the agenda, the Chairperson addressed the attendees, stating that it was a meeting of the Committee tasked with processing the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill that day. He mentioned that the first agenda item was to receive the final mandates from provinces, followed by addressing other matters, including reviewing previous meeting minutes and the draft committee report. He warmly welcomed all Members present and proposed proceeding with the first part of the agenda, which involved receiving final mandates from provinces. He announced his intention to invite representatives from each province to share the mandates they had received.

Upon the conclusion of the Chairperson's remarks, the Committee Secretariat informed the Chairperson that they had only received an apology from the Minister and the Deputy Minister.

Acknowledging this, the Chairperson responded by noting the absence of any other apologies. He stated that they would now proceed to hear from the provinces regarding the briefings they had received, starting with the Eastern Cape.

Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill: Final Mandates as Per Province

Ms N Ndongeni (ANC, Eastern Cape) announced that the Eastern Cape province voted in favour of the Bill and mandated their permanent delegate accordingly.

Mr S Sonjica (ANC, KZN Legislature) said the provincial legislature supported the Bill.

The Chairperson noted the presence of the permanent delegate from KwaZulu-Natal but mentioned her inability to speak due to network challenges.

Mr M Bara (DA, Gauteng) informed the Committee about Gauteng Province's support for the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill [B2D-2022].

Ms S Lehihi (EFF, North West) stated that the North West Provincial Legislature voted in favour of the BELA Bill [B2D-2022[.

Ms S Mathye (ANC, Limpopo Legislature) identified herself as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Education in the Limpopo Provincial Legislature. Ms Mathye informed the attendees about the adoption of the final mandate in their meeting on 30 April 2024. She stated they had mandated the permanent delegate to vote in favour of the Bill.

Mr I Ntsube (ANC, Free State) informed the gathering that the Free State Provincial Legislature voted in favour of the Bill.

Mr E Njadu (ANC, Western Cape) provided details regarding the Western Cape's stance on the Bill, stating that the Western Cape Provincial Parliament did not support the BELA Bill.

Mr G van Staden (ANC, Northern Cape Legislature) informed the Chairperson about the Northern Cape Legislature's support for the Bill. He mentioned an issue with the signed document not being furnished to the Committee Secretariat and assured that it would be rectified.

The Chairperson examined the document's discrepancies as the Bill was still named B2B-2022 instead of B2D-2022 and discussed potential solutions with Mr van Staden.

Ms Phumelele Ngema, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, affirmed the need for corrections to ensure procedural accuracy.

The Chairperson emphasised the importance of continuous learning and requested the Committee Secretariat to provide the results of the provincial mandate votes.

Ms E Nkosi (ANC, Mpumalanga) provided details about Mpumalanga's support for the Bela Bill.

The Chairperson reiterated the importance of accurate documentation and asked if there were any other issues to address.

The Committee Secretariat reported that eight out of nine provinces voted in favour of the Bill.

The Chairperson concluded by emphasising the significance of accurate documentation and confirmed the support of eight provinces for the Bill, noting the Western Cape's objection.

Report of the Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sports, Arts, and Culture on the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill [B2B – 2022]

The Chairperson then inquired about the next agenda item, asking whether they should proceed with the Committee’s report or start with the Minutes.

The Committee Secretariat responded, advising to begin with the Committee report and noting the raised hand of a Member.

Mr T Munyai (ANC, Gauteng Provincial Legislature) interjected to mention that the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) in the GPL raised a minority view to object to the Bill, clarifying that this view does not hold against the majority. He requested that this be noted to avoid any misrepresentation of the proceedings.

The Chairperson acknowledged Mr Munyai's input and expressed gratitude. He decided not to delve further into that aspect and invited other Members to contribute before proceeding with the report. He instructed the Committee Secretariat to display the Committee report, directing attention to specific sections such as the introduction and process.

Ms Ndongeni moved for the adoption of the report, but the Committee Secretariat interjected, stating that the correct procedure was for the Members to vote.

Voting in favour of the report were Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, and Free State. Additionally, during this session, a permanent delegate, Ms D Christians (DA, Northern Cape), mentioned experiencing network challenges and missing out on the previous agenda item, leading to her inability to make comments.

The Western Cape voted against the report.

The Chairperson thanked everyone and announced that the report was agreed to.

Committee Minutes

Minutes dated 24 April 2024

The Chairperson then suggested moving on to the minutes, inviting attendees to review them. He noted that since the Committee was now dealing with internal matters, guests could choose to exit the platform, while those remaining could observe how they managed their meeting records. He expressed gratitude to all attendees for participating in this important stage of processing the BELA Bill.

Mr Ntsube moved for the adoption and was seconded by Ms Ndongeni and the minutes were duly adopted.

The Chairperson concluded by expressing gratitude to the Members for their participation in processing the Bill. He highlighted the division of responsibilities, noting his role in facilitating the Bill's processing and the Members' duty to decide its fate. Acknowledging their decision to pass the Bill, he thanked them again. The Chairperson mentioned that further discussions would occur during the House debate, where the views of other parties would be considered and respected.

The meeting was adjourned.


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