Based on legal opinion, AfriForum demands scrapping of draft regulations on readmission of Gauteng learners

Civil rights organisation AfriForum today submitted its comments on the draft regulations on the admission of learners, published by the MEC for Education, Gauteng in a special Provincial Gazette of 30 July 2018.

AfriForum’s submission comprises a legal opinion provided by an advocate on behalf of AfriForum, as well as comments provided by individual members who are also parents in Gauteng and have asked AfriForum to submit their concerns and comments on their behalf.

Representatives of AfriForum attended several of the information sessions on the draft regulations hosted by MEC Panyaza Lesufi during August 2018. The tone of the sessions and threats voiced by the MEC cause AfriForum serious concerns.

In AfriForum’s submission, the Department was once again ensured that AfriForum remains committed to contribute to a process that will be in the best interest of all learners in Gauteng, and will ensure the provision of education of outstanding quality to all, in line with the spirit of the Constitution.

However, as the legal opinion explains in detail, AfriForum’s objections to the draft regulations include:

  • The vagueness of several regulations and terms contained therein;
  • The lack of consideration given to accommodation of siblings – a possible contravention of Article 28(2) of the Constitution that deals with the interest of children;
  • The termination of the role of feeder schools;
  • The lack of consultation opportunities with stakeholders re feeder zones – a possible effort to circumvent a ruling by the Constitutional Court in this regard;
  • The erosion of the school governing bodies’ role which could be deemed to be unreasonable and unjustifiable (especially in view of statements made by the MEC);
  • The exclusion of school governing bodies from the determination process re schools’ capacity – even though the bodies are entrusted with the responsibility to ensure quality education and the fact that capacity plays a decisive role in this regard;
  • Questions about the transparency of the online application process – which is now set to be the only way in which applications will henceforth be possible, should the regulations be accepted in their current format;
  • Possible conflicts with national policies;
  • And the fact that the draft regulations provide that the current model of cooperation amongst the Department, schools and school governing bodies will be replaced by a system dominated by the Department.

In the light of the above concerns, AfriForum urgently demands that the draft regulations should be scrapped.

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