Thousands of parents, teachers register for Bela Summit


By Helene Leonard

A wave of opposition is building against the controversial proposed Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (Bela) with approximately 3,000 registrations already signed up for the Solidarity Teacher Network’s Bela Summit by Friday.

This network offers this event on Monday evening in collaboration with the Solidarity School Support Center (SOS), AfriForum and Fedsas.

The draft legislation was already accepted by the National Assembly earlier and is still being processed by the National Council of Provinces.

The purpose of the Bela summit is to discuss the proposed legislation and its impact on the education system, children, parents and schools. It takes place on Monday 26 February at 18:00 at Solidarity’s head office, as well as online.

The speakers at the event are Dr. Dirk Hermann (chief executive of Solidarity), adv. Albert Lamey, Alana Bailey (head of cultural affairs at AfriForum) and Dr. Jaco Deacon, (CEO of Fedsas).

Guests and viewers of the broadcast will be able to look forward to an in-depth discussion about the proposed Bela legislation in which the expected impact and main dangers of the proposed amendments to the law are detailed. The speakers will then, in collaboration with parents, teachers, principals and other parties, try to find workable solutions to counteract the threat that the legislation poses to Afrikaans education.

Discussion points at the summit include:

  • the scope, impact and dangers of the Bela Bill;
  • how the Bela bill may affect governing bodies; and
  • strategic planning for the governing body elections of 2024 in light of the Bela bill.

Johan Botha, head of Solidarity’s Teacher Network, says there is serious concern that the Bela bill poses a major threat to Afrikaans schools in particular, but also to mother tongue education as a whole.

“The schools may lose their right to determine their own language policy, and drastic changes to the school’s admissions policy also become possible. In our opinion, the Bela bill is an attempt by the government to, with the support of the EFF, hijack public schools through these legislative amendments,” says Botha.

Solidarity stands by its intention to act against the Bela bill and is prepared to fight the case in court as soon as the president approves it.

Parents and teachers are invited and encouraged to attend the summit in order to be empowered to keep the future of their children out of the hands of the state.

The summit is broadcast online for those who would like to follow it online.

Click here to register and join the summit online