Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 30 Nov 2017
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2017
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 10:05
The House Chairperson (Mr A J Nyambi) took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
UNITING FOR THE ANNUAL WORLD AIDS DAY
Mr C HATTINGH: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council –
notes that World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people
living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
HIV has grown to become the biggest epidemic in modern history. Southern Africa is at the epicenter of this global epidemic with South Africa having the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with an estimated 7.1 million people said to be living with HIV in 2016.
The South African press took a strong advocacy position during the denialism era with attacks such as the “garlic and potato” approach to treatment, outrage at the then President's statement that he never knew anyone who had died of AIDS, and coverage of the humiliating 2006 Global AIDS Conference.
The reality is that HIV & AIDS has made disease and death the focus of daily life.
We need to care more deeply for those afflicted with this disease and for those who are vulnerable to exposure to this disease.
We need to keep our focus on HIV/AIDS, not only on the annual AIDS day, but all-year round. Only then we will be able to succeed and to move to a situation where someone in future can say “I used to have AIDS, but now I am cured.”
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
SLAVE TRADE EXPOSED IN LIBYA
Mr D L XIMBI: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council –
notes with concern, reports that have appeared in the international press exposing the slave trade in Libya.
also notes that the International Organisation for Migration has documented shocking testimonies of trafficking victims, and described slave markets tormenting hundreds of young African men bound for Libya.
further notes that in response to growing international concerns the United Nations says it is stepping up its work especially in the sub-Saharan Africa.
therefore condemn this practice and call on the UN and other global organisations to act swiftly in stopping this despicable practice.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
SLAVE TRADE IN LIBYA
Mr W F FABER: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council –
notes that the DA condemns the slave trade still taking place in our continent.
CNN exposed the slave trade industry in the report after survivors told the United Nations, UN, Migration Agency about it.
the documented shocking testimonies of trafficking victims exposed this horrible slave markets, tormenting hundreds of young men bound for Libya.
the House calls upon the Libyan government not to turn a blind on the barbaric act...[Interjection.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, member. Hon Faber, we have already dealt with that one. It is the same one that hon Ximbi moved. Yes, we have even agreed as the House...[Interjection.]
Mr W F FABER: Yes, but the second part of my motion is a bit different.
REDUCED BUDGET ON NATIONAL SCHOOL NUTTRTIONAL PROGRAMME IN MPUMALANGA
Mr F ESSACK: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council –
notes that the Department of Education recently admitted to the Education Portfolio Committee that it transferred just over R89 million (about 15%) of the National School Nutritional Programme budget to schools.
the school nutrition programme in Mpumalanga has become one of the many casualties left behind by the Education Departments failure to effectively manage its finances.
in the first quarter of the 2017-2018 financial year, learners sadly received only 1 meal a day with an average cost of R1,98 instead of the gazetted R2,42 for primary school learners and R3,19 for secondary school learners.
learners from Mpumalanga’s rural areas come from the poorest communities and many are dependent on the one meal per day provided by the National School Nutrition Programme.
this house calls upon Mpumalanga MEC of Education, hon Ms Mhaule, to report to this House on the province’s school feeding schemes and whether the province is falling short of national standards. We have to ensure that our children have a brighter future in Mpumalanga and in South Africa.
Motion not agreed to.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of a motion.
IFP WINS BY-ELECTION IN WARD 10 OF UMLAZI MUNICIPALITY
Mr M KHAWULA: House Chairperson, on behalf of the IFP, I move without notice:
That the Council —
congratulates the IFP on its resounding victory in a by- election held on Wednesday, 29 November 2017, in Umlazi Municipality;
notes that the people of Ward 10 in Umlazi made the correct choice this time around;
acknowledges that all the political parties contesting did so in a spirit reflecting unity and peace, and upheld the principles of a healthy democracy;
recognises that Ward 10 was previously in the hands of another political party;
also congratulates the newly elected Councillor Mdletshe and urges him to serve the people of Ward 10 in Umlazi with dedication, respect, honour and integrity, which are all principles espoused in the values of Ubuntu characterising the existence of the IFP; and
thanks South Africa for continuing to trust the IFP, as we move forward to 2019.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
ARCHBISHOP TUTU AND OTHER UNIVERSITY OF THE WESTERN CAPE ALUMNI HONOURED BY THE UNIVERSITY
Ms L L ZWANE: House Chairperson, on behalf of the ANC, I move without notice:
That the Council —
notes that the University of the Western Cape has honoured Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Awards;
also notes that Archbishop Tutu received special recognition along with eight other alumni for their contribution to their respective fields of study and towards national projects of nation building;
further notes that Archbishop Tutu thanked the alumni for the award and reminded the audience of the UWC’s history of
unwavering and principled resistance to oppression in the dark days of apartheid; and
congratulates the Archbishop and other alumni on the awards they have received and wish them well in their endeavours.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
GENERAL KHEHLA JOHN SITOLE APPOINTED AS NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: House Chairperson, on behalf of the ANC, I move without notice:
That the Council —
notes that the President has appointed Gen Khehla John Sitole as National Commissioner of Police on Wednesday,
22 November 2017;
also notes that Gen Sithole, who was born in Standerton, Mpumalanga, brings with him a wealth of operational and management experience to the SA Police Service;
further notes that he has grown through the ranks of the police, having joined the service as a constable in 1986, until his promotion to Lieutenant-General in 2011;
therefore wishes him all the best as he assumes his new position as the helm of this very important institution in government and the country.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Is there any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become notice of a motion.
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO NOMINATED FOR TWO GRAMMY AWARDS IN 2018
Ms L C DLAMINI: House Chairperson, on behalf of the ANC, I move without notice:
That the Council —
notes that the South African music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has once again done the country proud by being nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2018;
also notes that they were nominated in the Best World Music Album category for their album, Shaka Zulu Revisited, as well as in the Best Children’s Album category for the album, Songs of Peace for Children, and Love for Kids and Parents around the World;
further notes that Ladysmith Black Mambazo have already won four Grammy Awards in the past, winning an award in 1988 for their album, Shaka Zulu; and
congratulates Ladysmith Black Mambazo on their nomination and wish them well in the awards ceremony that will take place on 28 January 2018.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, allow me to take this opportunity to welcome the beautiful Grade 6 learners and their educators from the Grove Primary School. [Applause.]
We now come to the first motion on the Order Paper ... [Interjections.] Hon Faber?
Mr W F FABER: Chairperson, with due respect, the motion that was done by hon Ximbi ... [Interjections.] ... the second part of the motion ... what was the part of my motion ... which is not the same
... [Interjections.] Can I please get an opportunity to give the second part of my motion which is totally different? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, you just keep quiet and allow hon Faber. You have made your point, hon Faber; I have made a ruling. Please take your seat.
Mr W F FABER: [Inaudible.] ... similar, I can understand, but the second part is definitely different and for that reason I should get a chance to give my motion.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Faber, please take your seat.
DETERMINATION OF SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES PAYABLE TO JUDGES
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: House Chairperson, I move the motion printed in my name on the Order Paper as follows:
That the Council resolves, in terms of section 15(4)(b)(i) of the Judicial Officers (Amendment of Conditions of service0 Act, No 28 of 2003, to approve in whole the determination by the President of the Republic of South Africa of the rate of salaries and allowances payable to Constitutional Court Judges, as it appears in the Draft Notice and Schedule of 28 November 2017, tabled in the Councils 28 November 2017.
There was no debate.
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
DETERMINATION OF SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES PAYABLE TO MAGISTRATES
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: House Chairperson, I move the motion printed in my name on the Order Paper as follows:
That the Council resolves, in terms of section 12(3)(b)(i) of the Judicial Officers (Amendment of Conditions of services Act, No 28 of 2003), to approve in whole the determination by the President of the Republic of South Africa of the rate of salaries and allowances payable to Magistrates, as it appears in the Draft Notice and Schedule of 28 November 2017, tabled in the Council on
28 November 2017.
There was no debate.
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Cape Town.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, allow me to take this opportunity to welcome the Deputy Minister. [Applause.]
DEBATE ON OVERCROWDING IN OUR SCHOOLS: OVERCROWDING IN SCHOOLS IN LIMPOPO, ESPECIALLY IN DISTRICTS SUCH AS MOPANI, VHEMBE, CAPRICORN, SEKHUKHUNE AND WATERBERG
(Subject for Discussion)
Moh N P KONI: Modulasetilo, ke rata go tsaya tshono eno ke dumedise maAforika Borwa, diporofense tse robongwe ka pophara.
If we ever want to decolonise our society and country the best place to start is with our children ...
... ka gore lore lo ojwa lo sa le metsi.
For in them lies the future of our country. Today the education system in South Africa is rated one of the worst in the continent and in the world. The countries with smaller budgets manage to get more out their education systems then we do. Because of corruption and mismanagement the majority of South African schools are overcrowded, lack text books, have unqualified teachers, a shortage of teachers, hungry children, asbestos roofing, and many do not have proper access to water, electricity and sanitation.
Decolonisation of our schooling system is key to decolonising our society, and must be done at all levels. It must be done through the history and traditions our children learn at school. They must know the history of their people before colonisation; they must know their people’s brave resistance to colonisation and they must embrace their future.
Schools must be made to fit the cultures of students and not the other way round. The schools and schooling system of this country were developed and designed by racists who wanted to oppress and exploit black South Africans; this must be changed so that it speaks to the culture and the needs of our children. Subjects must be taught in all languages, so that we can make our languages professional on the same level as English and Afrikaans.
Today some of our children are ashamed to speak their own mother tongue. Even when they try to speak English, idiots laugh at them; they make them laughing stock, as if it is a crime when one doesn’t know how to speak English. Our schooling system must also be decolonised so that the skills our learners are equipped with make them employable in an economy that is not colonial in nature and does not rely on South Africa as an exporter of resources, a consumer of goods and a provider of services.
But an economy that is diverse and industrialised, producing all the goods and services that South Africans consume. This will require mass curriculum change at the foundational level especially, but also at the tertiary level.
It will mean that our children are taught how to be scientists, engineers, Information technology, IT, specialist, electricians, plumbers and all other skills needed to have a functioning economy and society. This also means that our teachers will have to be trained better. Currently, we have teachers in this country who in Zimbabwe would never qualify as teachers. This has a direct impact on the quality of education our children receive, and needs to be changed.
School nutrition programmes are needed. No child can reach their full potential on an empty stomach. It is very painful. We cannot have over 3000 schools in this country with asbestos roofing poisoning our children. We have schools in Limpopo like Radisaka Primary School and many others in this country. It is a school where there are two teachers for 5 grades; where learners get taught in mobile classrooms; where learners and teachers share 2 pit toilets; where the principal has to teach 2 grades while still doing the job of a principal; and where in the rainy season learners can’t access the school because road conditions are so bad.
How can one expect the child of a farm worker to become a scientist, an inventor or anything they dream of, when the education they receive actively works against them? Decolonisation, regardless of
what our children are taught, the structure of our education system and economy, can never be achieved under such conditions.
How are we meant to end, poverty, unemployment and inequality, when the education ensures that for most black children, the education they get will never allow them to compete with a white child?
Decolonisation cannot happen if the opportunities available to a black child are not equal to those of a white child. This is the reality of public education which is 23 years into democracy. This is the reason why whites send their children to private schools; it is why Ministers send their children to private schools and it is why anybody who has money sends their children to private schools.
The public education system in this country is failing under the ruling party, and it is our future which will be destroyed because of this fact. I thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chairperson, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, esteemed members of the NCOP, delegates and the hon esteemed MEC for Education of Limpopo, I was given to understand that the motion is about overcrowding in Limpopo, but the hon Koni has utilised this opportunity to raise a large number of issues. She is entitled to do so.
In the interests of public debate and education and advocacy, perhaps what I should do – rather than dealing with the specific issues that she raised – is perhaps spend one tenth or less of the time on overcrowding. I would ask the MEC for Education to deal with the specifics regarding that particular reality. I want to deal with the issue that she has raised to say to her: Education is really complex and broad, and perhaps it is important that we respond, in a dignified way, to the issues that she raised.
The first, basically, is in terms of a statement that she made that our country had the worst education system on the continent in terms of its outcomes. Now, that cannot be true because the latest report of the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality, or Sacmeq report, indicated that of the 15 southern and eastern African countries, South Africa was number three. In fact, Zimbabwe came after South Africa in terms of achievement and performance.
That certainly would not speak to the reality. By the way, the Sacmeq analysis was done in Zimbabwe, rather than anywhere else. So we would regard that as an accurate reflection of the improvement. In saying so, we are not suggesting that we have achieved excellence, but we are certainly saying quite emphatically that we
are moving away from mediocrity and that year after year we are improving in terms of literacy and numeracy.
The second point that the hon Koni raised was the issue of overcrowding. That is an important issue, and I thank her for doing so. Overcrowding becomes a reality and should be looked at in the context, broadly, of migration – migration from rural areas to towns and migration from certain rural provinces to more urban and metropolitan provinces. The reality as we speak to you today is that next year you will find in Gauteng alone that it will have to accommodate more 40 000 new entrants, who had not applied for registration from other parts of the country, just for Grade 1 and Grade VIII.
That means that there is a huge movement of learners from the rural to the urban and from certain provinces to other provinces for real economic needs. We have to pay particular attention to that. So, if you go to areas in the Eastern Cape, such as Libode, where we have built state-of-the-art schools – which were really developed for a large number of learners – you will find that the numbers are being depleted steadily as a result of this migration. What this calls for is improved planning, proper monitoring in terms of the movement, and ensuring that we do not disadvantage our learners.
Now, there is the myth that overcrowding only occurs in your urban settings. That is not true. If you go to rural areas, whether in Limpopo, Mpumalanga or the North West, you find that overcrowding is a phenomenon. What is the cause of this particular reality?
Let’s look at what the reality was in 1994. In 1994, less than 60% of our learners – who were eligible to be in school - were in school. That means a cohort of approximately 40% of all learners who ought to have been in school were not in school. The reality today is that more than 99% of learners from Grade R to Grade 10 are indeed in school. This means that we’ve made a phenomenal improvement in terms of access to our institutions of learning. That is a reality that we cannot overlook. But that particular reality and recognising that we have some 13 million learners in schools mean that you have to provide extra infrastructure and additional teachers for those learners who previously had not accessed institutions of learning who are now at institutions of learning.
Let me just give you one small example that would show to you the enormity of the challenge that we are facing. Statistics SA says that the year before last, 92% of all learners have had at least one year of preschool learning. That is phenomenal. That wasn’t a reality in our society. Now, at least with the introduction of Grade
R – institutionalising Grade R, improving the quality of learning and teaching in Grade R – we have at least 92% of our learners, across all race groups, who are accessing Grade R. That amounts, in our public institutions, to 850 000 learners – just in Grade R. That means that you need practitioners for all those learners, and that you need specially designed classes for all those learners because your Grade R class is very different from your Grade I or your Grade II, your foundation-phase classes.
This would also mean that your practitioners have to be trained. It also means that we have to provide resources. What are the resources that we provide for a child in Grade R? Every child, black or white, in any public school in the country receives four books, delivered to her or him, on time, free of charge. Now 850 000 x 4 would give you an indication of what one Grade R class receives. In terms of workbooks and there is empirical evidence ... Just yesterday or the day before I had been at a Cabinet subcommittee meeting at which a report had been filed by an independent assessor, Prof Nick Taylor, a renowned academic and analyst. He indicated that in terms of the assessment, the delivery of workbooks was perhaps the most efficient in the country. More than 99% of learners receive their workbooks on time. They are used widely – and even so in the Western Cape where they actually monitor the use of the workbooks.
So, 55 million workbooks, delivered free of charge to every learner in school, simply means that we are dealing with the issues of inequality ... and colonisation means broadly a system of education of the privileged sector in society, the white minority at the expense of the vast majority of the people.
So, in order to address the issues of colonisation, we have to redress the issues of equity and inequality. As we speak to you, there are 36 schools under construction, and construction will commence on another 32. It is hoped that by the end of this financial year we would have been able to deliver at least 90 state- of-the-art schools. That is almost two schools per week.
Now, what was the reality in Limpopo? In Limpopo, just some five to
10 years ago, there were mud schools. That phenomenon has been eliminated completely. I am not suggesting at all that they don’t infrastructure challenges. Rather, I am saying that whilst do have infrastructure, we are certainly working extremely hard to ensure that we create an environment that is conducive to learning.
The hon Koni raised the issue of unqualified teachers. In 1994, less than 60% of our teachers were qualified or adequately qualified.
Today, all our teachers are adequately qualified, and I exclude from
this those who are appointed temporarily. In other words, teachers who are in the profession, who are not temporary appointees, are adequately qualified. But, our view is this: that much more needs to be done.
We are in the 4th industrial revolution. Teachers have to be taught how to facilitate learning and teaching by utilising ICT, and that capacity has to be enhanced as the methodology and the pedagogy of teaching and learning in the 21st-century environment changes.
What have we done with the 4th industrial revolution? The hon member raised this particular challenge that we face. We have ensured that we have established 140 teacher-resource centres, which are available in all districts across the country. They are highly connected and sophisticated to enhance teacher-resource development. We have made sure that as we speak to you right now at least 50% of curriculum content has been digitised, is interactive and is accessible. It is hoped that by the end of this administration, we will have digitised, interactive and textbook-per-child or learner content in every subject in every grade. That is really speaking to the issues of the 4th industrial revolution and speaking to the issues of equity.
We are working extremely hard at that. Just five years ago we had connectivity to only about 13% of our schools. Now, we are at 54%, and it is my hope, my dream, my wish, my desire, my will to ensure that the Ministry works extremely hard to ensure that we have 100% connectivity so that those children in Limpopo are not disadvantaged and so that they are able to bridge the digital divide in a way that makes a difference.
Now, the issue of decolonisation is a real issue. We have basically set up a commission to look at old history books to find out whether there are any traces of racism or distortion in terms of our history. The curriculum itself speaks to the reality of history. Our history doesn’t start with the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, but goes way beyond that.
Indigenous knowledge systems are part of our history and, indeed, we have taken a political decision that history must be taught to all learners across all grades. Right now it is up to Grade 9. In terms of Grades 10, 11 and 12, the FET band is by choice, but we are saying it should be compulsory. Do we locate either as an additional subject or as life orientation? So that reality is there. There is no political decision that has to be made.
In terms of culture, the Koni speaks about ... and I’m glad she raised this issue; these are legitimate concerns. We are a diverse society. Previously, if you went to a classroom in a white area, there would be a white classroom, with white children speaking one language and belonging to one religious group. We are now a heterogeneous society. Our classrooms are multicultural, multilingual and multiracial.
Therefore our teachers must be taught to be able to teach in those different environments in order to ensure that there is unity through our diversity. Now, that is an enormous challenge. It requires particular skills: interpersonal skills, and skills in terms of basically bridging the linguistic divide.
Now, what have we done with regard to the issue of parity of our languages? Our Constitution imposes on us a duty to ensure that there are 11 official languages and that there should be parity amongst the 11 languages.
From next year, it is official – and I say this from this podium here – that every child ... although the pilots have started and probably 50% of those schools that taught only English and Afrikaans are now currently teaching an indigenous African language.
[Interjections.] From next year, every single school will have to basically teach an indigenous African language where it is not taught. So, progressively and incrementally we will make sure that we can celebrate our diversity through language. [Applause.]
Now, the hon member spoke about asbestos, and the MEC will elaborate on the steps that we have taken, not only in Limpopo but in Gauteng and other provinces, to ensure that together with the national department we are able to eliminate asbestos structures. Mud structures are not a phenomenon or a reality in all provinces, except for the Eastern Cape. As we speak to you right now, there are
62 schools under construction in the Eastern Cape replacing those mud schools. So, I think, we can argue that much has been done and, certainly, much more has to be done.
We certainly agree with you, hon Koni. You cannot basically have a system of education that does not respond to the demands of the economy. We need plumbers; we need electricians; we need scientists; we need engineers. This year the Grade 12s are writing in their vocational steam.
In other words, we have introduced two other streams besides the academic stream. We have the vocational stream and the occupational
stream. We started the vocational stream for engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and technology three years ago. The cohort of matriculants are writing it, and the numbers are expanding and the teachers are being trained.
Next year we are doing a huge pilot in terms of occupations – 26 occupations will be provided for. So, learners who are in school will then have a choice: to go either in the academic stream, the vocational stream or the occupational stream. That would mean that we would be able to provide the skills where the people want them: plumbing or electrical work, or going into the pure engineering areas – they would be able to do so.
Have our children improved? You know, it is important that we speak about Limpopo and you are from Limpopo. I give you two examples of two schools in Limpopo: one is Mbilwi and the other one is Dendron. Those schools produce the best mathematics and science results in the province. Even if you put the private schools with them they would still excel. They produce more than 100 distinctions in mathematics and science each and every year. Now that’s remarkable. These are rural schools - the children are African, the teachers are African. This shows that there is a new culture of learning and
teaching that is embedded in those particular areas. But the question is and the challenge is: Shouldn’t we replicate that kind of achievement and performance in all other schools across the country? I think it is critical that we do that.
The best ways of dealing with the issues of colonisation is to ensure, firstly, that our history is not distorted; secondly, that we have respect for the diversity of our cultures, our languages, our religions; thirdly, that we embrace the Constitution – this new ethos of a nonracial, nonsexist society; and, fourthly, to ensure that there is equity in the manner in which we allocate resources. To what extent have we dealt with this matter? You know, to tell people – and people are quite astounded ... In a learner population of about 13 million, more than 9 million children are being fed every single day - every single day with a nutritious meal.
Now, there are problems. You have raised an issue to do with Mpumalanga. I have taken note of it. We have to make an intervention there. The Eastern Cape had a similar problem, but today it is one of the best performing provinces because we have localised that particular task, so that community members have taken ownership of nutrition. We have trained them. We have provided them with utensils
... established kitchens ... and they are doing much better than
most. In some instances, they are able to provide more than a meal per day with the resources that have been allocated. I certainly will look at the hon member’s concern, although it’s a motion. It doesn’t form part of this motion, but it is a reality that we have to deal with.
Now, the reality of private schools ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): As you conclude, hon Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Yes, thank you. I do
conclude with that particular ... because it was the last point, hon Chair, and thanks for the indulgence.
The issue of private schools is something that we would raise not only in this country; it’s a global phenomenon. But what is encouraging is that in South Africa, after 23 years, 95% of our population attends public schools. If indeed they were as poor and as poorly functioning as they were, you probably would have had more 60% attending private schools. That’s not the reality in South Africa, but that does not detract from the reality and the need for us to work extremely hard – much harder – to ensure that we do not
have mediocrity in our system of education, that we improve it and, indeed, there are challenges. I thank you for this opportunity and thank you for the invitation, hon Chair. [Applause.]
Ms L L ZWANE: House Chairperson, Deputy Minister of Basic Education hon Surty, hon members and guest at the gallery, I thank the privilege of participating in this debate where we are looking at overcrowding in schools with special focus on Limpopo and those districts that have been reflected in the motion - Mpoani , Vhembe, Capricorn, Sekhukhune and Waterberg districts. I do want to say that much as we are focussing on Limpopo, it is a reality that overcrowding is actually manifesting in almost all the provinces in the country. It’s not an issue that it only exists in Limpopo and this is for historical reasons.
Let me take a slight different view from what the Deputy Minister has said and say, it is not going to help us as South Africans for the government to build schools - some of them being the state of the art schools as they are built through the Accelerated School Infrastructure, Asidi, programme which has delivered about 187 state of the art schools in the country - and you find that the communities where this service is delivered do not respect public properties. It is not going to assist communities to demand that the
government of the day provides additional classrooms if it we again as communities that are going to torch the schools. The province that we are focussing on is a province that had had a problem of torching public properties. It is a tremendous expense on the part of the government and waste of taxpayers’ money. We need to instil a culture of respecting public property, public assets and public resources in our communities. As you move around all the provinces in informal settlements, and not only in Limpopo, you find that a door is written Grade 3B. A door used for this dwelling was taken from a class in a school which is Grade 3B and we condone that as communities and we don’t deal with those issues. We always expect the government to act on our behalf. We are very quiet about it. We don’t report it and we don’t even involve the police and report those people who are inclined on destroying properties of the communities. The notion that schools belong to the state is wrong.
Schools are built by the state for communities and it should be the communities that should take the responsibility of ensuring that they are properly looked after. [Applause.] It is the school governing bodies that should instil in the minds of the parents that education is important.
In my previous life we used to go around to schools including special schools and you would find that in one sector of the
population – the Indian population for instance – you found that a particular classroom was built by a specific family, for example, the Singh family, the Pillay family, the Padayachee family, etc.
This was a contribution by the community to the welfare of their own children.
Mr F ESSACK: The Surty family?
Ms L L ZWANE: No, I haven’t seen the surname of your family. Yes, I saw the Surty one. I’m trying to say that the notion of contributing to the welfare of the education of our children is a matter that we need to instil into the minds of the communities out there. We don’t have to expect government to do everything for us even in instances where we can do things for ourselves. We don’t really expect government to increase the no-fee schools to cover those areas where parents can actually afford to pay the fees. This education is for our children. I remember during my days - and your days as most of you or all of you here look not very young – our parents paid for our education. As much as they were not earning anything at all, but they did pay for our education and for that reason we respected the resources. We wanted to finish our studies in a record time because we knew that our parents have suffered for what we were receiving.
Now the ANC-led government is providing resources, it is providing
learner-teacher support materials, is providing state of the art schools, it is providing training for teachers to be able to dispense the curriculum, it is providing school nutrition, you name them. But it is now that education is not taken seriously by our learners. It is an issue that we need to deal with.
As you pass the schools you find that electricity is on at
12 o’clock midnight. It was not switched off. Disrespect for resources is one of the things that we need to deal with. Water is leaking and it has not been fixed and we are going to run back to government and say government fix this and fix that, but we are not doing anything on pour own.
We need to conceptualise the issue of overcrowding. It is as a result of adversities of apartheid that we are still suffering even today. When the ANC got into power to lead the government of South Africa, we were confronted with an education system that was disintegrated and very fragmented. It has taken a lot of time and resources to ensure that we bring every racial group onboard and we device and develop a single education system to ensure that everybody is equal. But it is going to take time for us to reach a state that other countries have reached in terms of ensuring that we provide high quality education. We do want to appreciate the effort
that has been put if you compare us with other countries. If there was time we were going to see how other countries like Brazil, South Korea, China and Tanzania are doing and you would see that we are not far off. But it is going to take time because there are lot of challenges that were created as a result of the apartheid regime.
We need also to reflect on what the Auditor-General of South Africa is saying about the findings as they go around conducting oversight in certain areas although they are using just samples of a few schools in a given districts. For instance, their remarks are that infrastructures needs were not correctly identified and prioritised as appropriate information was not used during the needs determination process in provinces like the Free State and North West. Provinces need to prioritise correctly, province need to identify the needs correctly and prioritise in a manner that gives chance to those that are most deserving first and the least would follow. They are picking up issues, for example, contactor did not produce quality work. We are paying a lot of money to contractors as government to build schools and we expect them not to give us shoddy work or substandard kind of work and yet they take all the amount as quoted when they engage in the development of schools. They are quoting provinces like the Eastern Cape, Gauteng , KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape.
Routine maintenance was not planned by the department. I’m sorry, hon Deputy Minister again, it is not going to do us any good. We can build state of the art institutions, but if we don’t have the maintenance plan it is not going to yield good results. We are building for children and couple of years down the line you find that things have been broken, windows have been broken, doors are shaky and so on. We need to have routine maintenance plan so that we can be able to keep our schools.
We also need to use material that is durable. When you look at the former model C schools the material that was used, that red brick, is very durable. Those schools look new even today because they are properly maintained and durable material was used. You must not allow contractors to use anything and give us very expensive quote for the work that they are doing.
In some instances they have identified that some new schools and upgraded schools were not properly utilised or they were underutilised. The rationalisation of the occupation of space is problematic. As you said, Deputy Minister, the migration to cities might leave some of the areas with a space that you will need that you would need, that is not properly utilised and we suffer loss of resources that we used to put up those schools. There has to be a
system whereby we ensure that each and every classroom that we build is used properly for the benefit of delivering quality education.
Lastly, the shortage of space in the classroom is problematic not only to the learners, but also to the teacher when a teacher is working in a small space handling a crowd of 70 to 80 students, like I found in Nzalabantu School in King Cetshwayo District in Richards Bay. Teachers were handling 80 learners in the class, but it is a very well managed and performing school. In the Eastern Cape as we conducted oversight there were other schools which were overcrowded, but not many of them. It is an issue that you need to take into account in order to deliver proper education and exercise proper discipline in a pedagogic situation. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chair, it would be important for to respond to hon Surty, when he said that teachers are adequately trained. I would like to hear from you, hon Deputy Minister that if teachers cannot even pass maths exams that they are presenting to learners, are they adequately trained?
The overcrowding of schools is not just a Limpopo province problem but also came to light in the Eastern Cape and Free State during our
last two “Taking Parliament to the People” programmes in 2016 and 2017.
In fact, this a national problem but let us first look at the situation in my own province, Limpopo, which is famous for books not being delivered this year, children drowning in pit toilets and the torching of schools because empty promises have made to those communities by your President. That’s why they are angry.
It became clear that quintiles 1, 2 and 3 schools across Limpopo are overcrowded with an average ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Smit, please refer to him appropriately, not his President – the President of the Republic of South Africa.
Mr C F B SMIT: I said your President. I didn’t say his President.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order members! Hon Smit, I am assisting you still on that statement. The President of the Republic of South Africa is also your President. Continue!
Mr C F B SMIT: ... of 20 learners per class instead of the teacher- learner ratio benchmark of 1:40 set by the national department.
On 26 July 2017, the DA called on the MEC for Education in Limpopo, hon Ishmael Kgetjepe, to intervene at Ketlami Primary School in Valdezia, where learners are having classes in a shack and both teachers and learners having to use appalling pit toilets. At this school the teacher-learner ration is 1:78. This is shameful!
At Phaahla Secondary School in Bothahoek, ward 20 Tubatse, children are attending class in the kitchen due to overcrowding. Here the teacher-learner ratio is 1:80.
At Tendamukanda Primary School in Madombidzha area around Makhado,
135 learners are sharing a classroom.
I can continue with examples of how the ANC government is contravening the constitutional rights of young South Africans, particularly in terms of section 28 of the Bill of Rights. The ANC wants to pretend as if they are the movement of the people who care about poor South Africans. The ANC is an empty can. When you hit it, it makes a lot of noise but inside it is hollow and empty.
Let’s not beat around the bush. This ANC government made empty promises to our most vulnerable South Africans. In fact, the ANC has no intention of fixing the education system. It is part of their plan to keep the poor, poor and oppressed. You have indeed been taught well by the National Party, who joined your ranks on 7 August 2004.
They had a master class on controlling the masses from the masters of oppression - the apartheid regime. Why would the ANC stoop so low? Let me tell you why; because they plan to rule until Jesus come as they themselves often like to say. They realised they made a lot of empty promises that they will not be able to deliver on, so, they had to have plan B – a plan to control the masses, keep the poor, poor; and the uneducated, uneducated so that they can remain dependent on the ANC government because when your survival depends on the government, you can easily be blackmailed to keep voting for them. It is cruel and evil.
This is the reality; South Africans should unite together as one and vote out the ANC government in 2019. The time is now! [Interjections.]
One thing the ANC and the National Party did not foresee was the birth of social media and easy access to information to the youth. So, they know what you are doing now.
Your days are numbered! Ticktock, ticktock, 2019 is on your doorstep and the DA will win office all the way to the Union Buildings with President Mmusi Maimane. It is time for a new beginning, my fellow compatriots.
The DA has already brought the DA difference to the Western Cape and now many other municipalities and metros throughout South Africa. In Limpopo, it has arrived at Modimolle-Mookgopong Municipality and Thabazimbi Municipality.
We will fix the ANC mess we inherited because we believe in the future and do not claim that we will “rule until Jesus comes,” but rather as long as we deliver on your dreams, hopes and aspirations as ordinary South Africans and we know that if we fail you, you will punish us at the ballot box. Vote for change. Vote for hope!
Phambili South Africa, Asijiki! Thank you.
Mr M I KGATJEPE (Limpopo): Thank you very much hon House Chairperson. The Chairperson of the NCOP, the Deputy Minister of
Basic Education, hon members and guests, indeed we have come to the House to engage in a debate around overcrowding in schools in the five districts of our province of Limpopo. One comes here to listen to what aspects of overcrowding are raised by members so that we are able to deal with those challenges that are facing us as a province.
It will be disingenuous to not acknowledge that there is overcrowding in some of the schools in our province. Firstly, we have to look at what those aspects of overcrowding are and in which areas in our province overcrowding is prevalent.
We have certainly made progress in some areas and much more still needs to be done. However, the challenge of overcrowding manifests in about 80 schools in the province. Just for the record, Limpopo has more than 3 900 schools, so 80 out of 3 900 ... I’m sure you can get the margin of error. [Interjections.] Of course, we are the first to acknowledge that this shouldn’t happen.
To address these challenges, we as the Department of Education have demonstrated our determination to ... We have spent every cent meant for infrastructure development in our schools in the past three years since 2014-15. In this financial year, our current expenditure is at 90%.
We will continue to fight the struggle of overcrowding that comes about as a result of the growth in new settlements because much of the overcrowding in our province is due to new settlements in certain areas, migration in major centres of the province, especially in Capricorn District around Polokwane, the inclusion of Grade R in the mainstream and dilapidated infrastructure.
Accordingly, we have completed 706 classrooms in various districts in this financial year. With regard to Grade R, we are increasing the capacity in 25 schools in our province so that we are able to cater adequately for this grade in terms of the infrastructure that complies to our norms and for the provision of Grade R education.
Apart from these classrooms, ten newly-built schools were completed and occupied for this academic year. We plan to have a three-year contract for mobile classrooms because the mobile classroom in Limpopo is a reality. Part of the overcrowding is sometimes due to the improvement of results in certain schools. Therefore, there is internal migration which affects one school emptying the other schools. So, in those instances where we face those challenges, we are continuing to provide mobile classrooms in the interim as we address the infrastructure ... but also the management and
leadership challenges in those schools that will not have been producing some of the best results in the province.
We have also been providing school furniture to the majority of schools that are receiving these large numbers of learners. In 2015- 16, we provided 42 595 units of school furniture and in 2016-17 we provided 46 497. We are currently addressing the furniture needs of
369 schools in our province.
Although our infrastructure budget was reduced by 20 million for the current financial year, a total of 410 projects are under implementation, and these projects include the provision of classrooms in 164 schools and the provision of water and sanitation to 246 schools. We still need to provide 5 103 classrooms and
4 972 Grade R facilities. That is the backlog we face.
There are also 298 school infrastructure projects implemented by the Department of Basic Education through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative, Asidi, programme, and handed over to various appointed contractors for implementation, this financial year. These projects are planned for completion towards the end of the financial year.
In the past three financial years, the department has also ensured the completion of 340 sanitation projects which translates to
3 028 new toilet seats provided to schools in various districts.
Currently, we still have a backlog of 32 644 toilet seats.
Needless to say, we are also continuing to provide water and sanitation to various schools in our province. This year, and generally in our province, the problem of water relates to provisions whereby boreholes ... dry because of bad conditions. However, we are continuing to do that and yes, we are improving in terms of determining the needs of our communities. We have done a comprehensive study with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and now we understand the conditions of our schools and where to address maintenance.
Of course, we agree that there are times when community incidents tragically affect our school infrastructure as happened in Vuwani. We are building 10 schools in that area and repairing 58 storm- damaged schools in the province. Of course, we will continue to do that. We know that the setback that happened in Vuwani has put our infrastructure backlog in that area to about 1,2 billion as a result of the damage that was caused.
Yes, if you ask are we dealing with overcrowding ... we are indeed dealing with overcrowding in this area. If it is about resources allocated to schools, I guess one of the schools mentioned by a member here relates to small schools that we have to merge because resources in education are allocated per learner and some of the schools that were quoted here, which are smaller schools, are actually because they don’t have the requisite number of learners to get more educators. We do have an allocation of ad hoc posts to those schools and the principals are aware of that. We have finished the allocation of teachers for 2018 now so that the principals would be able to recruit in cases where they get these posts. We will be able to deal with those schools that actually do not have these posts on their establishment but require additional educators.
However, hon members must also take part in supporting the programme that has become a challenge in the province, relating to the merging of the new schools. In many instances when communities are called upon so that we merge the schools, political reasons are raised rather than educationally-related positions. We should ensure that, for the efficiency and effectiveness of education in these schools, it will only happen, especially in the small schools, if we are to provide additional resources. However, we can only provide additional resources based on the number of learners.
We are continuing to resource schools in terms of the norms and standards for the allocation of resources. It has always been raised in this House that we are not allocating schools resources according to the norms and standards that has been gazetted. This year, in this current budget, we have allocated schools the resources that they have. The schools are able to do minor maintenance with the resources. They have adequate resources to deal with the conditions they face rather than what we have always been able to do ... [Inaudible.]
Otherwise, we will continue to work to improve in those areas. We understand our challenges and of course we address them, resources of the country permitting. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, the IFP maintains that it will be unfair to Limpopo to merely attribute the problem of overcrowding only to Limpopo. This is a problem that cuts across many districts in South Africa. It will also be irrational to single out overcrowding as the challenge that retards progress in our schooling system in the country. It is but one contributing factor amongst a myriad of factors.
The topic at hand has to do with the provision of quality education in our country, and whether education received in one district, in one province, in one city and suburb, and in one locality and area, will be similar to the kind of education received in another similar area in the country.
It is a pity that after 23 years of our democracy, quality education has continued to be a privilege of the haves and the economically privileged in our country. In the same vein, in most instances, quality education has continued to escape the rural and township poor communities of our society.
I have stated in the past, and I repeat once more, that there are many township and rural schools that are doing well, despite these challenges which are peculiar to their situations. Therefore, unscientific generalisations, when dealing with issues pertaining to education, can be very misleading.
The biggest challenge that has always been a cause for poor quality in the education system is poor management. This is the primary culprit. Everything else flows from it. Some of the problems we have in education are of course overcrowding, poorly resourced schools, underqualified educators, nonco-operation of stakeholders, poor
funding models, lack of dedication by educators, learners and parents, and the decay of morals in society. The list is endless.
However, you can detect that most of the challenges we have are a result of poor management. If you have a challenge of overcrowding, it is as a result of poor management somewhere. If you have a problem of a high failure rate, it is as a result of poor management somewhere. If you have a problem of high absenteeism by either learners or educators, it is as a result of poor management somewhere. If you have a problem of poor resources, it is as a result of poor planning and poor management somewhere.
Some time ago, in October 2014 to be precise, an inquiry was conducted by the department on the allegations of the selling of posts — jobs for sale — especially managerial posts in education. The ministerial task team, MTT, came out with culprits but up to now the Minister has chickened out in taking action against the culprits that were uncovered by her own inquiry. Why then waste money on inquiries if the results of such will be ignored in the manner that it has happened with this one?
Amongst its findings, the MTT stated that, “cadre deployment by unions has weakened the education system”. It also found that,
“officials or representatives” of one union “exerted improper influence” in appointments.
I do submit that there are overcrowded schools and poorly-resourced rural and township schools that are doing exceptionally well, despite these challenges. However, the strength of such schools lies in strong management, especially at school level.
One does not condone the poor supply of resources and facilities on the basis of strong management but what the IFP is arguing as a starting point to resolving our challenges is the provision of sound management. What has happened in the past years where unionism and political partisanship largely dictated who gets what post has dealt a major blow in the provision of quality education in South Africa.
A friend of mine used to say that there is nothing as painful as being led by a follower. Whilst there may be a problem of overcrowding in some areas in our country, other areas are suffering the exodus of learners away from their schools, leading to the closure of those schools. A policy that locates learners to a particular circumference will not always work whenever things go wrong in the management of a school in an area. Parents with their learners always vote with their feet.
One cannot overemphasise the value and impact of education in liberating the people in totality. When the resistance was subsided in KwaZulu in the 1800s, it is King Solomon uMaphumzana owaphumuza uZulu who emphasised the importance of education by saying that the country will be returned to the rightful owners by pen.
At the height of the tensions in our country in the 80s, the slogan of the IFP Youth Brigade was, Education for liberation. This reflects how much the IFP has always valued the importance of education.
In conclusion, Dr Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. The way things are, it looks like this government has not yet started to be pragmatic about the importance and value of education. What has so far happened is mostly lip service to the doctrines of their own created National Development Plan, NDP.
Ms L C DLAMINI: My greetings to the hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, hon MEC for Education in Limpopo and hon members. I just want to thank hon Koni for proposing this important topic for debate, because it affects our future as a country when it deals with our children. It is, however, disappointing to note that some
of the members are now abusing this topic for cheap campaigning ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Exactly! Exactly!
Ms L C DLAMINI: ... because they don’t have other platforms for campaigning. Hon chairperson, like Walt Disney I always like to look at the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter and that knowledge is power.
No normal person would like overcrowding; not our learners, educators, communities nor government. Overcrowding or overcrowded classes lead to invasion of personal space for learners and educators. It also contributes to lack of focus. They often do not have space for their supplementary equipment such as laptops or tablets – in this modern world – which will help them to enhance the capacity of learning through research and comparative studies.
It takes a sober-minded or dynamic person to understand that complex matters that result in overcrowding in different parts of our country is not a question of just going to a school and seeing a overcrowded class and take a vuvuzela to talk about overcrowding without going deeper to understand the root causes of overcrowding.
Limpopo is the fifth biggest province after the Western Cape in terms of the population of the country, but the province’s statistics sit at number 4 in terms of learner: educator numbers. Hon Smit, I’m sure you understand this information.
What is also imminent is that it is a rural province with a history of Bantustans ... I want him to hear what I am saying ... of Bantustans or homelands which were not provided for during the apartheid regime. Above all, Limpopo shares its borders with a number of countries with poor populations such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe, with porous borderlines and these children cannot be discriminated against because of their country of origin. Meaning that, when Limpopo is providing for South African children, there are unaccounted children that they have to provide for as well because of that facts that I have just mentioned.
It is therefore by virtue of socioeconomic background that the province that is one of the poorer ones have a greater number of learners. It therefore implies that, just like similar provinces such as the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, they are funding all schools below the national threshold amounts, as compared to Gauteng and the Western Cape, for example.
Hon Khawula, I thought you understood yesterday, which was very clear to us in the committee, why these provinces are having a problem when it comes to their budget, because they are getting their budget according to the national threshold, yet in actual fact
– Limpopo for example – they are having about 700 learners who are not provided for by national, they take from their own budget, which is supposed to be used to build more classes, but it us used to provide for the learners.
The difference between Limpopo and the Western Cape in terms of learner population is that Limpopo has almost 700 000 learners more. The Western Cape is not doing that. Simply put, the national poverty table in Quintile 1, 2 and 3 in Limpopo is 77% and they are getting money from National Treasury according to this percentage. But the actual number is 96,4%. This then implies that a greater part of the province’s budget goes to education, specifically teacher salaries, as compared to affluent provinces such as the Western Cape and Gauteng that could do more on their budget. So you must bear that in mind.
This is also supported by research investigating and unveiling performance in different provinces. It states that poor schools in poor regions experience structural resources shortages. As a result
of such disparities the following challenges are observed: Firstly, unprecedented migration of learners to richer schools, causing overcrowding and leaving poorer schools with less than optimal numbers of learners; secondly, chronic infrastructural deficit, especially in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo; and thirdly, continual suboptimal attainment and achievement levels.
Chairperson, hon Smit, in stead of ... in fact, let me start off by saying you hate the ANC with a passion as a DA member, because you represent the DA here. You hate the ANC with a passion and it is unfair to talk so badly about the ANC, knowing very well that the ANC has done so much for this country in terms of education. That goes for you too, hon Khawula. It’s unfair.
The ANC has prioritised education. If you look at what the ANC has done since 1994 until now in terms of schools, you cannot compare that with what you did with your grandfathers during the apartheid regime.
The ANC can also not afford to exclude children from our neighbouring countries because of the challenges they are facing in their countries because of colonial regimes when those people who are talking so much now came and invaded our spaces and our land of
origin and now they have so much to say and they think that those people out there don’t know the ANC. We don’t have to tell South Africans about the ANC. They know what the ANC has done for them. It is an insult to South Africans’ intelligence to think that they don’t know what government said.
You fail to tell the public, especially the Western Cape, you owe them. We were debating Western Cape rural schools last week. You were supposed to use that platform to tell them how you are going to improve schools in the Western Cape. Instead, you are campaigning for the DA. For your information, forget about you taking power, you should be pleading with the EFF, because the two metros that you are holding depends on the EFF. You are sitting there crossing your fingers now, hoping that the EFF will vote with you today so you don’t lose the City of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay. [Interjections.] You did not win. You were supported by die EFF. If they did not support you, you would not have been in power. So, you can’t be proud that you won. [Interjections.]
I just want to tell you that the classrooms that you are saying are too small, they were built by you grandfathers, not the ANC government, but the ANC has made education compulsory for all South African learners – black and white. When you built them you excluded
black children. But now you have no shame to stand here. You know, if I were you I would have sat down and said nothing, because you know your history, you know where you come from and you know what you did in terms of education.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chair, on a point of order: Firstly, I don’t think that it is appropriate for the member to be addressing me directly; and secondly, she is referring to me personally and bringing my integrity into disrepute. She knows nothing about my history and where I come from.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Smit, on the first point, hon Dlamini, it is against the House Rules to address another member directly; on the second point, that is a point for debate. Please continue.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Chairperson, I will still say that the DA is not ashamed to come and speak here. They know what they did. [Time expired.] Thank you.
Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon Chairperson, the UDM supports the 16 Days of Gender Activism and we also acknowledge the beautiful colours won by our ladies today, thank you. The Department of Basic Education has
dropped its norms and standards with regards to teacher-pupil ratio. This standard was set in order to ensure direct contact between educator and learner thus facilitating a quality transfer of knowledge.
The overcrowding in schools creates an un-conducive environment for learning. One of the causes for overcrowding is non-expenditure of budget for school infrastructure across all provinces. For instance, in the Eastern Cape, for the financial year 2016-17 half a billion of direct infrastructure grant was returned to the national fiscus. In 2017-18 financial year, R450 million of indirect grant was returned to the fiscus. That money is supposed to be spent by the national government but because of poor planning by the government they returned it to the national fiscus.
Chair, it does not stand to reason that under these conditions there will be no overcrowding and government cannot argue otherwise. On 19 September 2017 UDM asked a question to the Minister of Basic Education about the decaying schools infrastructure in the Eastern Cape. We still do not have an answer.
It is our view that the current government policy on school infrastructure is a violation of the Constitution in particular the
human rights under Section 29, 28, 27, 24 and 10. It is frustrating for a child in 23 years of our democracy to study in overcrowded and mud schools often with no toilets or toilets that are in such a bad state that animals would shy away from using it.
Worst of all many of these schools are a threat to the well beings of the pupils. We call on the Department of Basic Education to drastically and urgently improve its planning implementation and monitoring and evaluation capacity. It is clear that the department lacks proper project management skills and capacity. This is demonstrated by serious strenuous faced by the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative, Asidi programme.
Going to the exact summary of the High Level Panel Report chaired by the former president hon Motlanthe does not auger well. In fact it is very clear that our education has deteriorated. Since 2009 when the administration of President Zuma was elected things have gone from bad to worse. It is worthwhile for members to get hold of that report. It says that our education has deteriorated; our grade five learners are hopeless; our infrastructure is gone...
... iphelile. Nithanda ningayithandi loo nto. Yingxelo leyo.
The opposition parties have been speaking about this year but we are always calmed down that there is a problem. Under this administration things have deteriorated to the worst. This is the mshini wam administration of who is the next to eat?
Ngubani oza kutya?
That is this administration.
The school infrastructure that you are talking about hon member, is that tenders are given to people who cannot build schools because it is their time to eat.
Kufuneka kubekho abantu abafumana into.
That is the unfortunate word. We have been talking about... Can I take that question? [Time expired.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): You are not presiding. [Laughter.]
Mr C HATTINGH: Hon Chair, let me start by thanking hon Koni for bringing the subject to the Table. It really needs to be debated but then on the other hand hon Koni you brought it here and then you did not focus on Limpopo, their overcrowding. You made it general and gave the Deputy Minister what he does best to showcase the department and to divert the challenges from the challenges and the problems in education to showcasing. I am sorry, please focus you did well but we must focus on the problem. Everybody got away without accepting the responsibility for the overcrowding of the schools.
The Deputy Minister even went as as far as saying that our education system is now better than Zimbabwe if that is the standard. You can ask any employer in the Western Cape; just go over the street where the Zimbabweans are employed. Why do you qualify Zimbabweans? Ask them about their experience of education. The Deputy Minister in his
very eloquent way again shifted the focus from mother tongue education which was a topic here and then went to multilingualism and to also indigenous languages as a subject but missing the point. We talked about mother tongue education in the formation years which is a big problem of the ANC.
Predictably, I will not refer to the members as the terrible twins but they were there with us. They were driven in a limousine and I could still distinctly remember when the driver went out and opened the doors for each one of them when they visited the overcrowded and dilapidated schools in Limpopo. We were there and we also went to Vhuwani and saw what was happening and the pit toilets.
The Chairperson here is relinquishing her job as the Chairperson of the Select Committee to do oversight and come here to defend the people where she got the bread from. Hon Dlamini I do not think you should ever stand here and attack mayors of metros. You should perhaps, one day come and confess on why you are here. What happened in Mbombela specifically with the stadium and the reason why you are here and not there anymore?
The MEC also had such a great opportunity. You could have come here and told us what happened in Limpopo under your watch. You had all
the opportunity. Please do not come and tell us here what you are going to do. Why don’t you tell us what you have done? Let me tell you what you have done, some of it and what you have not done. The MEC identified 301 schools, we are talking about overcrowding of Limpopo schools, with 53 000 learners for merging in 2013. In the period of three years, 177 have been merged and 20 have been closed and there are another 53 earmarked schools for closer. We are talking about overcrowding.
It was reported to the portfolio committee that, of the 13 schools to be completed in 2016-17 financial years only two schools have been completed. That is what you have done or not have done. You cannot say that overcrowding happens everywhere so what is the problem of overcrowding in Limpopo. It is not overcrowding that is a problem but your response to overcrowding in Limpopo. The problem lies with you, hon MEC.
By the end of January 2017 Limpopo only spend 38% of its education infrastructure grant. There two months left and they did exceed the expenditure of 50% and there was an amount of fiscal dumping. In 2015-16 as well the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative, Asidi programme allocated R104 million to Limpopo for building schools and installing services. Of this they could only
managed to spend a mere R18 million. So, the overcrowding is not due to the shortage of infrastructure but a self-made crisis, created and maintained by you MEC and your department.
I was there and I saw what you did and you did not do. [Time expired.]
Ms T K MAMPURU: Deputy Minister in absentia, ...
Ke a leboga Hlabirwa, ebile ke a go tamiša. Re leboga ge o itshwentše wa tla.
Grandstanding is an enemy of progress. I will always repeat that service delivery is not event, it is a process. The provision of quality education to all South Africans remains a commitment of the South African democratic government since its inception in 1994. The true value of education can be summarised in former President Nelson Mandela’s words, and I quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Gape mohl Hattingh o se ke wa lebala gore taba ye o e botšago MEC wa Limpopo o re ...
... everything is happening under his watch, you are wrong because
... o a tseba gore borakgolokhukhu ba gagwe ba tšeere naga ya rena. Ba nyaka go dira batho ba rena makgoba. Dikolo tše tša letsopa di agile ke bona.
Now, when this ANC government comes in it says there is a better life for all.
O nagana gore ...
... a better life for all doesn’t go hand in hand with migration? It is part and parcel of one another. It can’t be! In today’s world where democracy and technology have given people the absolute power
in nation building, the world needs well-educated masses. And it is always the government’s responsibility to provide its people the kind of education the world deserves and give everybody a chance to learn.
There is no doubt that one of the milestones to achieve this is to provide adequate classrooms to more than 11 million learners in South African public schools who continue to receive education in overcrowded classrooms. These overcrowded classrooms, which are a common sight in many rural schools, create an obstacle in progressive activities of classroom teaching and learning processes.
Koni, o a rereša ngwanaka ge o re lehono gona o le koba le sa le meetse. Tlogatloga e tloga kgale, modiši wa kgomo otšwa nayo šakeng.
Hence this ANC-led government ...
... e tlile ka mananeotlhabollo a dithuto tša bana ba mengwaga ya ka tlasana (early childhood development). Re na le di Mphato wa R,
dikolo tša dipraemari le tša sekontari, ga go na ka moo re ka se fihlelego ditebanyo tša rena.
It is thus no surprise that different societal organisations are calling upon the Department of Basic Education to address the shortage of classrooms in public schools. This is so because provision of education in overcrowded classrooms has a negative impact on the performance of both educators and learners.
Ke ka lebaka la eng? Ke ka lebaka la ...
... migration. I am not blaming the former regime. But together, let’s move South Africa forward in correcting the mess that was made by the former regime. Sekhukhune district - where I come from, is the most affected by this challenge of overcrowding, and its matric results bear testimony to this. The district has been the worst performing in the last three years when it comes to matric results. Why?
Akere kamoka re a tseba gore Tubatse e na le bokgoni bja go ka gola go tša ekonomi.
We have many mining houses. So, everybody wants to relocate to Tubatse; that’s why we will always have this challenge of overcrowding. Hlabirwa, you have to focus on what we have given you to do, forget about this. In May this year one community in Ga- Masemola village, in the Sekhukune district, marched to the provincial education department’s offices to demand more classrooms at the Mahwetse High School. They gave the department 14 days to respond to their demands, failing which they vowed to shut down schools in Sekhukhune because ...
... batho ga ba nyake go rwala maikarabelo. Ba a emelela ba sola kgoro, efela ba dirile eng? O hlalositše Motlatšatona mo a re kua KwaZulu-Natal, malapa a be a thuša mmušo gore o age dikolo. Le rena batho ba kua Sekhukhune, a re rwaleng maikarabelo re bone gore re thuše kgoro yona ye gore dikolo di be gona.
It can’t always be give and take. According to this community more than 800 pupils had been crammed into eight classrooms at the school for the past 10 years. Out of these eight classrooms, four have been built by residents themselves, which is a good move. They say that there is no space to walk in the classrooms and this is also traumatising to girl learners because they have to climb over desks.
Early this year, the University of Venda conducted a research study in Vhembe and Mopani districts of Limpopo province on this topic of overcrowding in public schools. The findings of the study, which were released in July, revealed that overcrowded classes are caused by lack of infrastructure such as classrooms. However, there are some other causes of overcrowded classes such as the following: Having one school serving a big community; the Department of Basic Education taking long to repair classrooms that are damaged; shortages of teaching staff and principals who are looking to increase the enrolment of their school so that their salaries can be enhanced. There are many issues that include, for example, social cohesion. Moreover, in Limpopo we have more than three ethnic groups.
Re na le Bapedi, re na le Bavenda, gape re na le Batsonga, Matebele ba ba nnyane. Bjo bongwe bothata bja go tlalelana ga batho (overcrowding) bo hlolwa ke ge Bapedi e le ba bantši kua Limpopo, se se tla dira gore Bavenda le Batsonga ba dulele kua. Batswadi ba bana ba Bavenda le Batsonga ba gapeletšega go iša bana ba bona dikolong tše dingwe ka lebaka la dipahpano, e le ka ge bana ka go rata go kgwathana, ba dirana tše di sa swanelago. Go ra gore ge ba eya Mopani, go tlalelana ga batho go tla ba gona, ra šala le tlhohlo ya...
... rationalisation. It is a challenge that needs all of us. We must come together see to it that we end this problem.
Gapegape, kua Ga-Sekhukhune re batho ba lebollo akere. Bjale ge o sa tšwe komeng o se na lekgai, e ba tlhohlo ye e amago batswadi. Ke moka ngwana wa gago ge a se a ya kua thabeng, a se a swara lekgai, go ba le bothata bjona bjoo bja gore a ka se kgone go ipshina ka thuto gona moo a lego gona. Go ra gore batswadi ba swanetše ba mo tloše ba mo iše sekolong se sengwe. Se se hlola overcrowding.
Ditlhohlo ke tše dintši tše di hlolago go tlalelana ga batho (overcrowding). Ga se feela ka lebaka la gore sekolo se na le
diphaphoši tše dinnyane, aowa, go na le mabaka a mantši ao a tlišago go tlalelana ga batho. Le taba ya tumelo, taba ye e hlola go tlalelana ga batho. Dikolong tše dingwe dihlogo tša dikolo ke “boPraise the Lord”, go ya ka ditumelo tša bona... rena ba bangwe re betha sekupu, gomme ngwana wa gago o a lekega ge a swana le nna e le ngwana wa tumelo ya go betha sekupu. O tla kwa ba re, “Aowa, Mampuru ngwana wa gago a ka se dire bjalo.” Ga se yona yeo. Ke moka le nna ke le motswadi ke tšea ngwana wa ka ka mo iša Venda. Ge a fihla Venda o tlaleletša nomoro ya bana bao sekolo se šetšego se na le bona. Ke eng? Ke go tlalelana ga batho.
This needs all of us. In addition to this study by the University of Venda, the Limpopo department of education did commission another study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in 2016. The report of this study, which was released in July 2016, indicates that the main problem of overcrowding in the province is as a result of some of the schools having had to be merged or closed or both.
Leloko la komitiphethiši le šetše le e hlalositše yeo. Ka ge dikgoši tše dingwe di belega mafahla, ke bothata ka gore ga le kgethwe go ba dikgoši kamoka ge le belegwe ke kgoši. Efela kgoši ya mmannete yona
e tlile go kwešiša gore o bolela eng. Akere o a bona rena ba gaMampuru, a re llele gore dikolo di reelwe ka bomakgolo ba rena, rena re llela bokamoso bja bana ba rena ...
... because it is important. According to this report, 111 schools in Limpopo have been closed and merged and 11 719 learners were involved in the movement to merging centres. This increased the number of learners to be catered for by these schools to 59 596.
Four hundred and forty educators were also involved in this process. The report also indicates that there are still 80 schools in the province that are still in the process to merge and this will involve about 7 244 learners and 297 educators.
During the Provincial Week last year, we have identified Sekhukhune district ...
... ra e arola ka diripa tše pedi, sehlopha sa mathomo sa ya ka Makhuduthamaga, sa bobedi sa ya ka Tubatse. Ye nngwe ya ditlhohlo tšeo di bakago go tlalelana ga batho, Modulasetulo - a re boleleng nnete, ke taba ya ...
... road infrastructure. There is nothing that the MEC of Limpopo can do ...
... ka taba ya go šutha ga batswadi goba barutiši, ge ba tloga mo ba e ya dikolong tše dingwe ka lebaka la ditsela tše dimpe.
Let’s involve the Department of Public Works. Let’s involve Sanral, SA National Roads Agency, where it is necessary. Let’s involve Road Agency Limpopo, Ral, where it is necessary ...
... ba tle ba re thuše ka ditsela tša rena ka lebaka la gore di na le khuetšo go boemo bja thuto ya rena.
Yes, there is the Education Infrastructure Grant from national government to assist provinces in cases like this, but this has proved to be inadequate in Limpopo. And this is why ...
... kua Vuwani go bile le bothata bja gore batswadi le bana, mo tabeng ya kabo ya ditirelo, ba itebanye le dikolo. Ga ke tsebe gore naa tsela le sekolo di tsenelana ge di etla kae. Ba thubile dikolo tša rena ka bontši.
But when the MEC and his team made an analysis - where they found about the chaos, unfortunately, the national department can say anything. They can say that Limpopo must see to finish and tell them that they don’t see any problem because there is nowhere one can expect the MEC to get the budget to fix all the mess in a day or two. It will take him some years to achieve that goal.
Gomme rena re a go thekga MEC ka lebaka la gore re kwešiša seo se diragetšego.
In line with regulations relating to minimum uniform norms and standards for public school infrastructure, focus must be on ensuring health and safety and basic services to all schools. In other words, all schools must be provided with water supply, electricity supply, sanitation facilities, security, etc, as I have
alluded long ago that education issue does not only involve infrastructure, there are some other issues involved
Go nyakega dinamelwa tša barutwana (scholar transport), go nyakega mohlagase, go nyakega ...
... sanitation - all these things. With the little that we have, we are trying the best we can. Let’s move on together. Let’s take South Africa forward. The Limpopo department of education sets aside 20% of its total budget to deal with school infrastructure, but this is not enough. This is still so even when supplemented by the infrastructure grant from the national government. In my language when things are like this we say:
“Ke nngalaba ya taba, ke lešitaphiri.”
But we are taking South Africa forward as the ANC, we are leading this country. The situation in Vuwani has also worsened the situation. Members would recall that in 2016, residents of Vuwani
destroyed dozens of schools in protest against a decision to incorporate their area into a new municipality. I have alluded on that.
Mr C F B SMIT: My apology for interrupting but the member is speaking so fast we can’t hear what she is saying anymore.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr. A J Nyambi): Hon Smit, you are totally out of order, can you take your seat. Continue, hon Mampuru.
E re ke mo tlogele, ke mo fe motsotsonyana ...
... off record, House Chairperson. In another village, Tshitale village, which is about 60km south-west of Vuwani, two schools, Vhari Primary School and Denga Secondary School, were burnt and vandalised in January 2017 during a protest against poor service delivery. When asked why they were protesting, the residents said that they were protesting because they demand a tarred road. But the question is: Why did they burn the schools?
So, sometimes we blame the education authorities for things that they could just not control. When are we going to man up as a society. When are we? We must take charge. These are our institutions. Surprisingly, in all these schools that were torched and vandalise, storage rooms where food for school nutrition programme is kept are never damaged. The vandals would first empty these rooms of the stock and then proceed to burn the other parts of the schools. We are becoming irresponsible. So, we need to man up, as I’ve alluded. This is our properties.
However, be that as it may, classroom overcrowding is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for teachers, parents and learners alike. It is a problem in desperate need of a solution, and here are some of the ways in which it can be solved: New technologies - when schools have their classrooms crowded and full of too many students, keeping them all engaged becomes a big problem. And it is one that needs to be confronted. One thing that many teachers are finding helps keep students engaged is technology, and it can be used in a million different ways.
All classrooms should use computers and interactive learning methods so that everyone can get involved in what is being ... [Time expired.]
Re a leboga, Hlabirwa, re re tšwela pele o hlabolle setšhaba sa Limpopo.
Mme N P KONI: Ere ke go leboge gape Modulasetulo, ke leboge dibui tsotlhe tse di tlileng mo ...
... podium ...
... e gompieno, segolo thata ka gore dibui tse di neng di bua mo di bua nnete, tse di neng di sa tsewe ke sedidi sa metlae ya ...
... apartheid ...
... ba tla go ithamaka ba re kgwela mathe mo
Ke boe gape ke tseye tshono kere ...
... I wish a speedy recovery to hon Ngwenya, a Commissar in the EFF.
Kere a fole, Modimo a mo beye maatla a pholo. Tsela e re e tsayang ke leeto le le telele. Go setse gole go telele, re setse re batla mafatshe a rona a a tserweng ka dikgoka. Go botlhoko thata go dula mo phaposing ya boithutelo o le ngwana, o tshwerwe ke tlala, mme batho ba ba sa itseng sepe jaaka bo motl Hattingh ...
... will never understand what you are talking about. [Laughter.]
Botlhoko jwa gore o tsamaye ka dinao nako e telele, matsatsi a mangwe o tsamaya mo puleng, mo dirageng, mo diphefong o le ngwana, bogolosegolo o le ngwana wa mosetsana. Ga nkitla o tsamaya o itse dilo tseo fa o setse o le batho ba go tshwana le bo motl Hattingh. Se se botlhoko thata ke go bona bana ba rona ba ba welang mo
dintlwanaboithusetso tsa mesima mme ga gona ope yoo tsayang maikarabelo ka seo, seo ke selo se se kitlang se tsamaya se tlhaloganngwa ke batho ba ba tshwanang le bo motl Hattingh.
Mokhuduthamaga, fa o ne o bua mo e ne ekare setlankana sa gago ga wa se itumelela. O ne o se monate sentle ekare ga o natefelele lefapha la gago, ga ke itse gore go diragala eng. A ke tsone ditiragalo tsa dikolo tse di tletseng ko porofenseng eo ya Limpopo? Ke a go utlwa o bua ka dipalopalo tsa dikolo tse eleng gore di tletse. Mme ke rata go go raya letsatsi la gompieno gore motl Mokhuduthamaga kere, ga go a tshwanela gotlhelele gore go nne le fa ele sekolo se le sengwe se se tletseng, bana ba ba dulang mo phaposing e e tletseng ga go a siama, ...
... hygienically so ...
... ga go a siama, ga gona bophepa moo.
Hon Smit, you started very well and then you started off ramping because I spoke about decolonisation and that raised eyebrows. Hon
Hattingh, you must get over yourself and you must by giving us our land back. You don’t know the pain of a hungry child sitting in a classroom. You don’t know the pain of fetching water from the river. You know nothing. You must keep quiet.
We can’t praise a fish for swimming; so the decolonisation of our education system can never be achieved until the ANC accepts or admits that they are in a crisis or they have a problem.
Decolonisation of our education system can never be achieved under the rule of the DA; it is a party of white monopoly capital whose aim is to keep the status core as is and ensure that the black children in this country will continue to provide cheap labour to capital that it cannot continue making profit.
So, the DA must just keep quiet and they must sit down. The EFF and that’s the reality, is and will only be the only organisation that can bring about the decolonisation of our education system and country. We will do this by nationalising the strategic sectors of our economy to fund a proper education system with good services facilities and properly trained teachers. We will do this by changing the curriculum so that it teaches our kids their history. So, once ...
... go nna le ...
... a free quality education ...
... ga nkitla re tlhola re nna le mathata a gore re nne le barutabana ba ba sa rutegang ka gore gone jaanong go nale mathata a eleng gore mo dikolong tse dingwe, barutabana ba ...
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chairperson, I wanted to check if my sister will take a question, the hon member Koni.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you hon Nzimande. Hon member Koni, are you ready to take a question from hon Nzimande?
Ms N P KONI: Since we go to the same church, I will gladly take the question there.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Are you taking the question?
Ms N P KONI: No, at church. We go to the same church. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Nzimande, she says you will deal with it at your church, she is not ready now. Continue hon Koni. [Laughter.]
Ms N P KONI: A curriculum taught in all languages so that our children are not disadvantaged from day one.
Ere ke go direle sekai se le sengwe, bana ba rona ba batho ba bantsho ga ese gore ke ditlaela, ke ka gore fa ba tsene sekolo le bana ba basweu, basweu ba rutiwa ka puo ya bona mme bana ba rona ga ba rutiwe ka puo ya bona. Jaanong fa o ka tsaya dirutwa tse tsotlhe o be o ruta ngwana wa motswana ka Setswana, a ka falola bontle fela. Bana ba rona ga se ditlaela. Re ile ra tsiediwa ke magodu a masweu, babolai, ...
Batho bao ga ba siama [sleg].
This education system the people produces will not condemn them to poverty and unemployment but will equip them so that they have the skills to be active participants in an economy that serves the interest of the people and not foreign and local monopoly capital. We will achieve this by equipping our children with skills so that they can be doctors, engineers, IT specialists or anything that they want to be. Ours will be an education system that does not favour a white child over a black child. Until then, the education system of this country will continue to produce the colonial and apartheid relations of production; that is why we see hon Hattingh hot on the podium ...
... e kare a ka thubega [explode], ke gore ga a je monate motl Hattingh ga re bua ka dilo tse ka gonne ke kgatelelo e ba batlang go bona re tshela mo tlase ga yone. Ke a leboga Modulasetulo. [Legofi.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, let me take this opportunity to thank the hon MEC from Limpopo, the Deputy Minister is absentia and all of you for your conduct in this very important
subject. Its not over this week, you know hon members that we still have one session next week.
The Council adjourned at: 12:05