The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, wishes to thank the South African public for the overwhelming response to the request for comments on the draft Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA Bill), which was published in the Government Gazette with a deadline of 10 November 2017.
The Department would like to reiterate that it will diligently consider all the comments received, and that recommendations will then be made to the Minister about amending the draft Bill if that is required.
Owing to the unexpectedly large number of submissions that were received, the Department was unfortunately not able to acknowledge receipt of each submission. However, the Department would like to re-assure everyone who submitted comments by email that if they received no error message after sending their email, the Department would in all probability have received their submission.
There was also a substantial number of requests for an extension of the deadline to which the Department was unable to respond to. To those who did not receive a response to their requests for an extension, and to any other individuals and organisations who were unable to submit their comments by the deadline date, we can give assurances that there will be an additional opportunity as is in line with normal policy development processes.
Once the draft Bill has been introduced into Parliament, it will then be referred to the Portfolio Committee on Education. In the course of its consideration of the draft Bill, the Portfolio Committee will, also in line with the normal practice, once again call for comments on the Bill. Moreover, the Portfolio Committee may hold public hearings in keeping with the normal practice.
All individuals and organisations who have missed the deadline for this round of comments will therefore have a further opportunity to provide inputs on the draft Bill once it has been introduced into Parliament.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION