Equal Education (EE) welcomes the publication of a new draft Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure which the Department of Basic Education (DBE) released for public comment today.
The court order issued by the Bhisho High Court on 11 July 2013 specified that:
“The Minister must, by 12 September 2013, publish for comments, amended draft regulations for Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure…”
It is for this reason that the Minister published the new draft today.
As per the court order, the minister must prescribe final norms and standards by November 30 this year.
This court-ordered timetable results from the fact that Minister Motshekga did not abide by a previous timetable specified in the November 2012 out-of-court settlement which she had reached with Equal Education. Under the previous timetable, the final regulations were due on 15 May 2013, a deadline which Minister Motshekga did not meet. The court order also follows an unacceptable draft issued on 8 January 2013 which was widely criticised by the public and civil society. The Minister ultimately acknowledged, after receiving many objections to the January draft, that stakeholders were justifiably aggrieved in objecting “to the fact that the norms and standards lack substance and certainty, and that there is no clear framework or plan for implementing the norms and standards”. (For a full history of Equal Education’s norms and standards campaign, go to http://tinyurl.com/pvrzypp )
There is now a new draft. EE and its legal representatives, in this case the Legal Resources Centre, are currently scrutinising the new draft. What we are most concerned to ascertain is whether the new draft complies with the South African Schools Act and the Constitution.
The closing date for public comment on the new draft is 11 October 2013. (The Minister’s call for comment can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/nz4osqt )
Nokubonga Yawa – EE Spokesperson – 082 833 8389
Yoliswa Dwane – EE Chairperson – 076 706 2338
Brad Brockman – EE General Secretary – 072 267 8489
Doron Isaacs – EE Deputy General Secretary – 082 850 2111