Please note: 1) A few hours after the NCOP passed the Bill with recommended changes, the National Assembly’s Basic Education Committee issued a media statement confirming that it will meet on 15 May 2024 ‘to consider and concur’ with the NCOP’s proposals 2) Parliamentary papers have confirmed that on 16 May 2024, during the reconvened National Assembly's final pre-elections plenary, the Bill was passed.  

The NCOP has passed the Basic Education Amendment Bill’s ‘D’ version, which is now ready to be sent to the National Assembly committee concerned for concurrence.

At the time of writing, the reconvened National Assembly’s final pre-elections plenary session was approximately 48 hours away, having been scheduled for 16 May 2024.

According to the latest parliamentary programme, the Bill’s finalisation is firmly on the agenda for that sitting – tending to suggest that the National Assembly’s Basic Education Committee plans to consider the NCOP’s changes by round robin and table a report in the House well before the 16 May 2024 plenary. In all likelihood, that report will concur with the Bill’s ‘D’ version in its entirety.

It is therefore quite possible that the Bill will be passed on Thursday 16 May 2024 and sent to the President for signature.

Against that backdrop, as SA Legal Academy has regularly reported, once enacted and operationalised the controversial new piece of legislation will, among other things:

  • make Grade R the new compulsory school-starting age
  • penalise parents or guardians ‘who do not ensure their children are in school’, and
  • strengthen existing provisions prohibiting corporal punishment by making it an offence with ‘penalties for those found guilty’.

The new piece of legislation also has significant implications for:

  • the language and admission policies of state schools
  • the powers of a state school governing body, and
  • home schooling.

Please click the links below for more information:

  • Bill’s ‘D’ version
  • parliamentary papers including correct NCOP committee report (page 29) (the wrong report having been tabled on 2 May 2024)
  • NCOP plenary at which the Bill’s ‘D’ version was passed (YouTube, 57:22)
  • latest parliamentary programme

Published by SA Legal Academy Policy Watch

Follow us on X @SALegalAcademy (you can also join us on LinkedIn and Facebook)

There are not comments for this article at the moment, check back later.
You must be logged in to add a comment, log in now.
Need Help ?

Explore Smarty