National, W Cape education in showdown over alcohol sales at school

2017-07-07 17:26
Angie Motshekga. (Nico Gous, Netwerk24)

Angie Motshekga. (Nico Gous, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The basic education department is considering amending national legislation to nullify a Western Cape education department (WCED) proposal to allow alcohol to be sold on provincial school grounds.

The proposal by the WCED seeks to amend the provincial school bill to allow public schools to sell alcohol on school premises or at school activities, subject to approval by the provincial head of the education department.

The Western Cape cabinet accepted the amendments on Tuesday.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga asked MEC Debbie Schäfer to reconsider the proposal and remove the amendments, basic education department spokesperson Troy Martens told News24 on Friday.

"The department does not support the amended bill. We believe that the matter has not followed due regulatory procedures, particularly engaging key stakeholders when amendments were made," Martens said.

"We will obviously reflect on the way forward, we will consider what approach would be best to take and may amend national legislation.

"The minister has expressed serious concern over the amendments."

No blanket permission

Martins said Schäfer insisted a discussion point on the matter be removed from the agenda of a national meeting of education MECs, but Schäfer refuted this.

"The matter was [withdrawn] from the agenda… not at my request. I raised issues of concern because the proposal [to add it to the agenda] was being made without discussion with me, and [they said] that they wanted to ensure 'harmonisation' of provincial and national legislation," Schäfer said.

"I reminded the minister that basic education is a concurrent competence, where provinces have constitutional authority to depart from national legislation, and in fact, provincial legislation prevails, except in very limited circumstances."

Schäfer said Motshekga requested that public schools not be given a blanket permission to sell alcohol.

"I told her that this is exactly what we are going to propose in the amended bill, and she said then she is happy with that."

Schäfer said she had to leave the meeting of national education MECs early as she had to fly back to Cape Town.

"She [Motshekga] said she would arrange to meet with me when she was in Cape Town. I asked her to please do so as soon as possible, as I was almost ready to propose it to the provincial cabinet.  She said: 'Okay, that's fine.'  And that is the last I heard from her," Schäfer said.

"I cannot wait forever. We need to get this bill through."

Schäfer reiterated that the provincial standing committee on education will allow another opportunity for public comment before final recommendations are made to the provincial legislature.

Other proposed amendments include the establishment of an oversight and evaluation body for all public schools, and "intervention facilities" for expelled students.

Read more on:    angie motshekga  |  cape town  |  politics  |  education

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.