DA to hold demonstrations outside Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s office

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will take to the streets on Tuesday to protest against the Department of Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill, which it claims is affecting mother tongue education.

The party has vowed to hold demonstrations outside the office of Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

The BELA Bill proposes changes to the South African Schools Act.

One of the changes seeks to hand the Department of Education the control to determine schools’ language policies, curricula, corporal punishment and initiation practices.

The Democratic Alliance Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho, says the Bill suppresses the country’s 11 official languages.

“The main concern we have is that this Bill will take away powers of School Governing body (SGB). Instead of promoting our mother tongue languages, it will actually suppress that. In Gauteng, we have more than 1 000 schools which are using English [as a medium of instruction]. What we have not seen is a promotion of other languages such Xitsonga, Tshivenda and Nguni language.”

“What we are saying is that the department must invest in making sure that we have got more schools of excellence rather than targeting schools that are doing well. We believe that giving powers to the MEC or HOD – we’re going to have a challenge going forward and that’s why we taking to the streets on Tuesday,” adds Ramulifho.

Below is the full interview with Khume Ramulifho: