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MEC halts plan to sell alcohol at schools

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga File photo: INLSA

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga File photo: INLSA

Published Aug 22, 2017


Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has requested that the brakes be put on buying and selling booze at Western Cape schools until she meets Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

Schäfer has agreed, saying she will not proceed any further with the legislative process until they meet.

The selling of alcohol at schools is one of four proposed amendments to the Provincial School Education Amendment Bill, which was recently approved for processing by the legislature.

It was met with fury by the biggest teacher unions in the country, which said it was an attempt by the Western Cape executive to run the education system like an “independent state”.

Other submissions to the bill are that pupils found guilty of serious misconduct may be sent to intervention facilities; Education MECs may establish a School Evaluation Authority that will independently evaluate schools and develop school evaluation reports; and that provisions be made for the establishment of collaboration schools and donor-funded schools.

At the latest Council of Education Ministers (CEM) meeting, Motshekga requested a period of 45 days in which to meet Schäfer.

The 45 days end before the end of this month.

Schäfer’s spokesperson, Jessica Shelver, said no changes had been made to the proposed amendment. “The MEC agreed with the minister to not proceed any further with the legislative process, pending a discussion.” Basic Education Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga has previously said that Schäfer had disregarded a personal request from Motshekga not to proceed with her ideas, “in the hopes for wider consultation and discussion”, but that the request had been ignored.

Schäfer denied this, saying she was told at a CEM meeting that Motshekga wanted to discuss things with her, but she had to leave to catch a plane.

Schäfer said she was then told Motshekga would arrange a meeting when she was in Cape Town.

Mhlanga said yesterday that the date for the meeting had not been finalised.

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