Angie Motshekga, Helen Zille in high-five fest

2013-08-06 17:19

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Western Cape premier Helen Zille understands the problems bedevilling the South African education sector, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said.

She appreciated Zille’s efforts to clarify the problems in the sector.

“It shows the highest levels of integrity in terms of inter-government relations,” said Motshekga.

“I fully appreciate her understanding of the challenges facing the sector.”

Last month, Zille told a Democratic Alliance Young Professionals forum she was an “unlikely defender” of the minister, because the real problems leading to poor education results in South Africa had been diagnosed under Motshekga.

Read Zille: Well done, Angie Motshekga

A recent National Education Evaluation and Development Unit report commissioned by Motshekga found poor discipline was why pupils failed.

Zille said no other minister before Motshekga had been willing to provide the space for such a report to be produced.

In her newsletter, Zille said she supported Motshekga’s critique of the norms and standards campaign for school infrastructure, based on a 2008 draft published by her predecessor Naledi Pandor.

Today, Motshekga said the disciplinary hearing of basic education director general Bobby Soobrayan would start soon.

“The process of appointing the judge has been done through the state law office and the judge is ready to start at any time. We will hear from him regarding when he is ready start his hearings.”

Last month, basic education spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said retired high court judge Willem van der Merwe had been approached to preside at the hearing. The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has accused Soobrayan of violating the Public Finance Management Act.

In April, Sadtu held nation-wide protests demanding the resignations of Motshekga and Soobrayan. It suspended the protests after reaching an agreement with Motshekga.

She promised Sadtu that the complaint against Soobrayan would be referred to the Public Service Commission, and that it would be treated urgently.

She undertook to support an initiative to achieve parity in the public service, and to appoint a task team to deal with the union’s complaint about a failure to increase the salaries of matric exam markers.

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