Parliament has extended the deadline for comment on the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill.
The bill was tabled in parliament in January 2022.
The basic education department published the bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 45601 in December 2021.
The bill aims to amend the South African Schools Act and the Employment of Educators Act.
According to the department, the amendments are a response to court judgments that protect and give effect to the Bill of Rights.
The bill seeks to provide for system improvements in terms of admission of learners, in particular the admission of undocumented learners.
It also provides for financial and public accountability frameworks for governing bodies and provincial departments.
The bill further provides for additional regulatory powers of the minister and enhancing the decision-making and oversight powers of heads of departments and members of the executive councils.
The proposed legislation addresses provincial needs relating to central procurement, home education, dispute resolution, amongst others.
The bill also proposes technical and substantive adjustments, clarifies certain existing provisions, inserts provisions which are not provided for in existing legislation and strengthens enforcement mechanisms for offences and penalties.
According to the committee chairperson, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, the committee received several requests for an extension to the deadline.
“The committee noted several factors that could have impacted the public not having sufficient time to comment on the Bill, like it being an examination period. As the committee appreciates public input and wants to ensure legislation that speaks to the needs and wants of the sector, we decided to heed the calls for the extension of the deadline”, she said.
The portfolio committee on basic education now invites comment on the bill until 15 August 2022.