Babalo Ndenze14 May 2024 | 8:49

NCOP paves way for major basic education reforms by passing BELA Bill

The bill was passed despite opposition from parties who argued that it would cost the country billions and strip away parents’ rights over their children's education.

NCOP paves way for major basic education reforms by passing BELA Bill


CAPE TOWN - The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) finally passed the controversial Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill, paving the way for major reforms in the basic education sector.

The NCOP considered the bill on Tuesday morning, after deferring the legislation last week due to a blunder in the tabling of the bill and the select committee's report on the legislation.

ALSO READ: Western Cape only province to oppose contentious BELA Bill

But those opposed to the BELA Bill said it would cost the country billions and also strips parents' rights regarding their children's education.

The passing of the BELA Bill was delayed last week due to a technicality in the publishing of the correct bill and report.

On Tuesday, members of the NCOP finally adopted the contentious bill despite opposition from the Western Cape.

Parties opposed to the bill also said it would be a costly exercise and overregulate home schooling.

“BELA risks costing the taxpayer nearly R18 billion without including uncosted expenses,” said the Democratic Alliance’s Cathlene Labuschagne.

But the African National Congress’ Nokuzola Ndongeni insisted the bill was a milestone and would have a lasting impact.

“The finalisation of the BELA BILL in the sixth Parliament will be a significant milestone in transforming the education system and will have an immeasurable impact.”

The bill will now go for final processing in the National Assembly before the term ends on Thursday.