DA rejects MEC’s ​​attempt to influence Gauteng learners’ election choice


The DA strongly condemns Matome Chiloane, Gauteng’s MEC for education, so-called attempts to influence school students’ choice of political party in the upcoming general election on 29 May.

Solly Msimanga, a DA member of the provincial legislature, says the DA is in possession of a memorandum that was sent to all Johannesburg East district directors and gr. 12 life orientation teachers were sent, instructing them to revoke a project for this subject, entitled “Poor access to clean water”, which was issued to learners on 17 April.

According to the memorandum, the withdrawal was based on the fact that the subject may have an effect on learners’ voting choices and certain elements are believed to be advocating specific views or influencing voting options.

“The sudden decision by Chiloane raises questions, because the gr. Year 12 learners were supposed to examine the assignment and complete it before the start of exams by the end of May. It is unacceptable for the MEC to dictate what topics learners should research, just because he is anxious about what they may discover,” says Msimanga.

He says Chiloane is aware of Gauteng’s serious service delivery failures, including a lack of access to clean water. Learners see the water crisis and for this reason he believes any chance to discuss the subject will expose the ANC’s shortcomings and indicate why the party should not be allowed to govern this province after the election.

Msimanga says the violation and undermining of the right to free education, for which South Africa fought as a country, is unacceptable.

“Education is a fundamental right, which must be maintained without political interference, and any action that undermines this right must be corrected immediately.”

Msimanga says that since some learners are affected by the lack of access to clean water, it is important to create awareness about this, by allowing learners to gain more insight into its causes and possible solutions, rather than focusing on the failures of the Hiding ANC in the 30 years of democracy.

The DA demands that Chiloane stop his interference from now on and condemns this action. Msimanga says his decision to withdraw the life orientation task has serious consequences, such as a waste of resources. This also causes tension for learners, who should rather be studying for the upcoming exams than having to research another topic with less time.

RNews reported earlier that the Solidarity School Support Center (SOS) also expressed its concern about the move.

“This extremely instructive project about the water crisis at Hammanskraal is now canceled and replaced with a new, election-friendly topic. Learners who have already completed the task must now sacrifice study time to start over with something they have already completed,” said Melanie Buys, head of development at the SOS.

The Gauteng Department of Education has already been approached for comment and feedback will be updated.