CAPE TOWN-- South Africa's largest teachers union, the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) have expressed concerns regarding certain aspects of the Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Bill which proposes the sale and consumption of liquor at schools, under certain conditions.

The union, which highlighted the proposal regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol on school premises or at school functions, made its stand known as the final public hearings regarding the amendment Bill were held in Cape Town on Tuesday night.

The amendment Bill also prescribes that pupils found guilty of serious misconduct may be sent to intervention facilities. SADTU's Western cape Secretary, Jonovan Rustin, said the sale and consumption of alcohol is just one of the proposals the union is rejecting.

It legalised collaboration schools which is in contravention of the South African Schools Act because it now gives either donors or partners the right to have more than 50 per cent on the (school's) governing body." he said.

"We also have a problem with the sale of alcohol in schools saying that as teachers we are trying ensure and the sale of alcohol on schools work against what we are trying to do in the schools.

SADTU and the regional South African Communist Party (SACP) held a march ahead of the final hearings on Monday night. The SACP provincial secretary, Benson Nqentsu, explained the party's stance on the matter:

On the question of collaboration we are in a new culture of shareholding and shareholding that seeks to undermine organs of people's power such as School Governing Bodies, wherein those who have money will have majority in terms of authority and power.

Meawnwhile, the Western Cape Education Department says it will fully consider the inputs and comments received from the public.

The department's Media Liaison Officer, Jessica Shelver, said: The public participation process being undertaken by the Provincial Parliament in respect of the Western Cape Schools Education Amendment Bill is ongoing.

"The Department will fully consider the input and comments received from the public and the various interested bodies participating process and we will respond to the standing committee fully in due course in accordance with the parliamentary process to do so and this stage would be premature.

A total of six public hearings have taken place since June this year. The public has until Aug 24 to submit written submissions regarding the Bill.


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