House of Assembly: Vol114 - TUESDAY 5 JUNE 1984
Bill read a First Time.
Mr Chairman, the Bill now before the House is the culmination of a very long, very intense, very interesting and also very constructive process of investigation and of an evolution of new ideas and new guidelines in relation to the education of the peoples of South Africa.
During the Second Reading we in the PFP indicated that we support this measure but that we have certain reservations relating to certain aspects of this legislation. I should once again like to deal briefly with one or two of those reservations.
It was very unfortunate, Mr Chairman, that this legislation had to be drafted within the constraints of the new constitution. It was most unfortunate that when the recommendations of the De Lange Committee were ultimately moulded into legislation it had to be done within the very restrictive apartheid mould of the Government’s new constitution. Had it not been for that unfortunate defect, that very serious defect, this could have been very fine legislation indeed. I believe that the time will come that the Government will realize, as it has realized in respect of each of its past ideologies, that it made a fatal blunder at the time of passing that legislation. I am also sure that in time to come the Government will have to come back to this House or to the new Parliament with its various Houses to admit that it was wrong and then try to bring about improvements to remove apartheid from South Africa’s educational system.
I should like to ask the hon the Minister whether he will agree with me when I say that all South Africans who have the best interests of this country at heart, would like to develop a society based on justice, providing for peace, security and prosperity for all the people of South Africa. I am sure the hon the Minister will agree with me that there are many ways in which this can be accomplished but that one of the most powerful instruments by way of which these objectives can be achieved is the provisions in this country of a sound and an appropriate educational system. Everybody who has read the recommendations of the De Lange Committee will believe that the Government, should they carry out those recommendations with sincerity and with determination, will to a large extent contribute to accomplishing those goals; those worthwhile goals. In addition it would make a very worthwhile contribution to providing trained manpower for a sound and growing economy, to provide jobs for the very large and expanding population of our country, and that it would in many other ways contribute to the future peace and prosperity of our society. There is only one glaring exception, and that is the imposition on South Africa’s youth of a system of education which builds walls amongst them, which erects fences amongst them and thus prevents effective communication amongst the children of our various population groups. Does the Government not realize that at the root of all of South Africa’s problems lies race prejudice, lies distrust amongst the various race groups, lies an inability to understand and appreciate one another, and that that gives rise to the tensions which we experience, that that gives rise to the violence within our society, and that that is what lies at the base of the insecurity which faces our country? Does the Government not accept that the only way of removing that is by establishing communication and contact amongst children of the various race groups, by allowing them to communicate with one another in their formative years, by allowing them to develop an understanding of one another, by showing them that they can co-operate with one another without losing their identity or their cultural diversity? Is that not the way in which one removes the race prejudices which exists in our society?
I should just like to quote briefly what Dr Wimpie de Klerk wrote in Rapport very recently to indicate that he too is aware of this. This is what he writes:
*He then proceeds to quote from an article written by Prof A J Vos, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Zululand. The Prof writes that White, Black, Coloured and Indian people will continue to be accommodated in separate schools. His concern is that the children from these four groups only meet one another in any real sense in the labour market. They are then practically strangers to one another, with great ignorance of one another’s attitudes, sensitivities, objectives, culture, religion, language, customs and history. This inter-cultural ignorance is a threat to stability in South Africa, the Professor claims. He then proceeds to suggest that there are various ways in which it can be brought about that the children of the various race groups communicate with one another in a perfectly normal and effective way, make contact, learn to understand one another and form an understanding among the various groups.
Are you advocating mixed schools?
I quoted passages from the article to the hon member. My plea is that despite the restrictions which the Government has placed on itself as a result of the provisions of the Constitution Act, it should take steps to create opportunities as soon as is practicable for children of the various population groups to make contact with one another at school level so that they can learn to understand one another and so that race prejudice and ignorance and mutual suspicion can be eliminated by means of that contact.
As far as the acceptance of a single Ministry is concerned, it is after all, clear from the legislation that since a Minister for general education affairs is being appointed who will consult the other Ministers when the interests of those departments are discussed and decisions have to be taken, since that Minister has to decide on norms and standards for the financing of the running and captial costs of education, salaries and conditions of employment of staff, the professional registration of teachers and, last but not least, norms and standards for syllabuses and examinations, and for certification of qualifications, that it is advisable that the Government should leave that door slightly open so that they can move away from this narrow apartheid structure in education. Perhaps it will be possible to move in that direction by means of private schools to begin with, and perhaps on the tertiary level of education to a greater extent than is the case at present. If the Government does that, it is really a step in the right direction.
However, I also want to tell the hon the Minister that they are so frightened, they have such a great fear of the right-wing in South Africa in the ranks of the NP, they are so terrified of the claims being made by the CP and the HNP etc that the hon the Minister found it necessary to say in this House yesterday that the Government stood by separate development or apartheid. I think it is unnecessary and not wise either that the Government should find it necessary to emphasize that. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, clause 1 contains a number of definitions for this Bill about which one could ex, press a considerable number of ideas without digressing too far from the legislation itself. I simply want to make it quite clear that we on this side of the House will oppose every clause of this legislation beginning with clause 1. We are opposed to the establishment of such a co-ordinating education department. We are convinced that each population group should have its own education department within which it will be fully able to decide for itself and act on its own. Having said this, we also say that what we demand for the Whites we do not begrudge any other population group and we shall also help them to realize this fully, but each group must do so separately. Each group must be totally separate from the other.
Own standards as well?
Own standards, everything. [Interjections.]
There is a difference in interpretation and there is a difference regarding what is considered to be integrated and mixed and what is not. This side of the House and the hon members of the Government interpret the definition of integrated or mixed in different ways. The hon members on that side attach a different definition to it than we do.
What is your definition?
Our definition is that if one has a racially mixed department at the top with a Minister who is serving on a racially mixed Cabinet and that Minister lays down norms and standards in respect of a number of matters and if councils and committees are established which are racially mixed and all that remains is that the schools are not mixed yet, as far as we are concerned this is integrated education because the step to mixed schools is a very short one if everything else is racially mixed, integrated. For that reason our definition differs from that of the Government.
The hon the Minister may stand up in this House and tell us that we do not understand and that people who cannot understand do not belong in this House—all those derisive remarks make absolutely no impression on us, because of our definition of what we see as integrated and what the hon the Minister sees as integrated. He is of the opinion that if one mixes everything and one keeps the schools separate, one does not have integrated education. In this respect we disagree radically with him and we shall continue to disagree with him. We on this side of the Committee are not prepared to support and to allow this kind of education in South Africa.
Mr Chairman, in respect of the amendment which the hon member for Bryanston has on the Order Paper I should like to ask whether it would be permissible as it would appear to me to extend the scope of the Bill and to incur additional cost which of course would make it ultra vires.
We are against the amendment which the hon member will possibly move. Let me just say that in respect of this particular definition there is no doubt about where this party stands. We are not to be found for the acceptance of the principle of a unitary system in South Africa. In order to subscribe to the policy enunciated by the hon member for Bryanston today, it would be necessary first of all for a party to accept and adopt a policy of unitarism in South Africa towards political, educational and social provisions. That, however, does not mean that we do not support the concept of equal opportunities in education for all political groups. In fact, we believe that it will be in the interest of the different population groups’ potential exploitation of their educational facilities to keep them separate at the moment and that means, in terms of education, as far as matriculation is concerned. Once it goes beyond matriculation to tertiary education, we have no difficulty with the concept of different educational institutions, such as universities and technikons, deciding for themselves whom they should admit and why they should admit them to those institutions, but in so far as general education, informal and formal education, is concerned we do not subcribe to the policy of unitarism. [Interjections.] We believe that each ethnic group has the right of association and it also has the right of disassociation, and that principle itself is the embodiment of the democratic principle. If we have to work along the lines proposed by the hon member for Bryanston and his party, then inevitable we are going to end up with forced integration which is as counterproductive to human relations in South Africa as forced separation is. I believe one has to strike a balance between these two. This party’s policy has always been that education is something which is an own affair of each of the groups and is therefore consistent with the construction of the new constitution for which we voted on 2 November 1983. [Interjections.] There are essential reasons for that. The hon member’s leader, who is a sociologist, will be able to tell him that after matriculation one is going into the adult world and has to fend for oneself. It is at that stage that we believe every member of the various population groups can make a meaningful contribution without harassment and detraction from its own inherent minority rights. [Interjections.] The PFP, Sir, sets itself up as the champion of minority rights sometimes while at other times they want to bulldoze those rights by forcing a policy of unitarism onto South Africa. Therefore we will not be able to vote for the amendment of the hon member for Bryanston should he move it. We won’t be able to vote for it for the very cogent reason that this is being used by the PFP for petty party political reasons.
Mr Chairman, I want to react briefly to the standpoint of the hon member for Bryanston, and to the standpoint of the hon member for Koedoespoort. The hon member for Bryanston sees in the fact that provision is being made here for a Minister for general education affairs an opening of the door through which we can eventually move towards a central education department. In contrast, the hon member for Koedoespoort said throughout that in this Bill provision was already being made for a central education department. The hon member has just referred to a “co-ordinating” education department again. In his speech yesterday he made the same blunder. Allow me to make the standpoint of this side of the House on this matter quite clear. The fact that provision is being made for a Minister of general education affairs applies only in respect of the four basic aspects set out in clause 2 of the Bill. That is as far as it goes. Those four basic matters are of cardinal importance in assuring the best for everyone in this country as far as education is concerned. As far as this is concerned, I therefore agree with the hon member for Bryanston that the necessary liaison must exist, both inside and outside the schools.
But the hon member for Koedoespoort alleged that provision was already being made for a co-ordinating education department. That is incorrect. What we are in fact making provision for is a Minister who will be responsible for general education affairs. Consequently this is not a department …
What is it, then?
It is a Minister who must determine general policy in connection with those four aspects in co-operation with and after discussions with the other four Ministers, the four Ministers who represent the education departments of the four separate population groups. The hon member for Koedoespoort said that he did not begrudge each population group its own standards with regard to education. Sir, could you imagine what would happen if the four education departments of the four population groups each had the right to lay down their own norms and standards with regard to qualifications, certification, finances and so on. Surely it is ridiculous to argue that this right should be given to each of the four education departments and to think that one would not have absolute chaos in practice. I can only assume that the hon member for Koedoespoort did not think before he spoke. In reply to an interjection, the hon member said that the only thing that would not be mixed now would be the schools themselves. Yesterday his bench-fellow, the hon member for Germiston District, said that everything was mixed except the children. Those were her words. Here we have another discrepancy in the argument of those hon members, simply because they did not study this legislation and therefore do not know what it is all about.
I want to put it to the hon member for Bryanston that, as hon members know, the establishment of a central education department was recommended in the report of the De Lange Committee. The hon member also knows just as well as I do that this recommendation was not accepted by this side of the House, by the Government. As a matter of fact, the Government made it clear that the proposal concerning a single department of education was unacceptable and that there would be separate schools and also separte departments of education.
The hon member for Bryanston also referred to the matter of private schools. That hon member wants us to start there by making those schools mixed. If I understood the hon member correctly, I want to put it to him that this is definitely not the policy of this side of the House, and the hon member should take cognizance of that.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Durban North addressed himself at length to the amendment which appeared in my name on the Order Paper but which I have not yet moved.
I can understand the frustration of people such as Alex Anderson regarding the “corporals” in Parliament who do certain things. Although I have not yet moved the amendment, I would like to speak to the hon the Minister about it. If the hon the Minister will accept a similar amendment to clause 2, an amendment qualifying education as being for all population groups, I am prepared to withdraw my amendment on the Order Paper to the definition of education in clause 1.
I will be prepared to accept an amendment of that nature to clause 2.
In that case I will not move my amendment to clause 1.
Mr Chairman, with reference to the standpoint of the hon the Minister, I should like to refer to the totally incomprehensible attitude adopted by the hon member for Durban North. After all, the amendment deals with an aspect which falls within the framework of the Bill. The Bill does in fact make provision—this is clear from all the provisions in the Bill—for all the other groups. This is clearly apparent in clauses 2(2) and 2(3). It is quite clear that we are dealing here with a general Bill which is concerned with a national policy which is to apply to all groups. To be quite honest, the standpoint of the hon member for Durban North is totally incomprehensible to me.
All he need do is cross over to that side, Nic.
No, there is no place for him on that side either and it is quite clear that he disagrees with that side of the House too.
As the Bill reads at present the intention is to formulate a national policy—so it is hoped—which will apply to Whites, Coloureds, Indians and Blacks. I do not know what the hon member for Durban North is basing his standpoint on and I find it utterly astounding. There is no logic in it.
Mr Chairman, I think the hon member Prof Olivier will agree that the intent behind the hon member for Bryanston’s amendment—which he now will not move—is in fact a direct expression of the policy of the official Opposition in their desire for a unitary education system which, if read in conjunction with amendments which they intend to move later in the Bill, will make it clear that the implication is that if one has accepted the sentiment—it is now the sentiment and not the amendment of the official Opposition—the next step is that one has to accept the freedom of choice of every parent to send his children to any school or institution of their choice.
*This is really a trap they are setting for hon members. However, one has to be clear about the implications of accepting a sentiment such as the one expressed by the hon member for Bryanston and the hon member Prof Olivier.
†That is the problem about which we are concerned. The minute one supports the sentiment expressed by the hon member for Bryanston one must be consequential and continue with the implementation of the fundamental principle of a unitary education system. That is what we are against. I want to ask any hon member of the PFP: Is the sentiment expressed by the hon member for Bryanston supportive of a unitary educational system or not? [Interjections.] Of course it is. That is what they stand for; that is their policy. We are not to be found for that, and therefore we cannot support the sentiment expressed by the official Opposition.
Mr Chairman, I should like to come to the hon member for Virginia.
He made an astounding speech.
It was an astounding speech, as my hon colleague for Barberton rightly said.
It is only blockheads who are astounded. [Interjections.]
That hon member should confine his activities to his meat inspection business.
The hon member for Virginia says that the reference to “Minister” in clause 1 means that there will only be a Minister and no department of State.
I was referring to an education department. [Interjections.]
Oh, so there is not going to be an education department, and we are discussing the National Policy for General Education Affairs Bill here. Must I therefore assume that in the new multiracial coalition Cabinet there is going to be a Minister but that he is going to hold other portfolios, for example Post Office Affairs … [Interjections.]
Order! I am sorry to interrupt the hon member. I have allowed one hon member from each opposition party to discuss the general principles. From now on hon members must please discuss only the particulars of the clause.
Sir, clause l(v) reads as follows:
But the hon member for Virginia said that there was not going to be any such department of State. [Interjections.] My question to the hon the Minister is whether the definition should not merely provide that there will be a Minister and whether the portion “the Minister of the department of State for general affairs responsible for general education” should not be deleted. It is very important to us to know exactly what the position will be in connection with the national policy for general education affairs. We know that according to the legislation there is going to be a Minister and this specific clause also refers to a department of State. Yet the hon member for Virginia alleged that there was not going to be any department of State.
No, he said there was not going to be an education department. [Interjections.]
I accept that there is going to be a Minister responsible for general education affairs but that he is not going to have a department of education affairs. [Interjections.] I should like the hon the Minister to explain this to us.
Before calling upon the next speaker I must point out to the hon member for Swellendam that a while ago in an obvious reference to hon members he said that they were “stommerike”. This is unparliamentary and I would be glad if the hon member would withdraw it.
I withdraw it.
He merely looked into a mirror.
Order! I have just asked the hon the member for Swellendam to withdraw that unparliamentary remark and now the hon member for Sunnyside has passed basically the same remark. The hon member must withdraw it.
I withdraw it, Sir.
Mr Chairman, I should like to intervene at this stage, because a really unproductive discussion is being conducted here and all it really amounts to is a verbal hair-splitting. The hon members of the official Opposition as well as the hon member for Koedoespoort are trying to suggest that there is going to be a co-ordinating or central education department under the new dispensation, and the hon member for Virginia has said that this is not the case. Now the hon member for Rissik has asked how one reconciles this with the definition of “Minister” in clause 1 of the Bill.
When the Bill was drafted the standpoint of the Government was that the scope of general education affairs was so limited that they were insufficient to serve as a departmental injunction to a Minister for General Affairs. It was felt that they should be grouped with other ministerial responsibilities in a department of State for general affairs. It could, for example, be a Department of Internal Affairs, in which two subdepartments of education also incorporated at present. Hon members are now splitting hairs because there will in fact be a central department of State which will be responsible, inter alia, for the administration of general education affairs, as the name of the Minister also indicates. There is, however, no question of there being only one central exclusive education department. Hon members opposite will therefore not get away with this subtle distinction by telling the people outside that there is only going to be one central education department, because that is not the case.
But it is going to be a co-ordinating body.
It is going to be a department of State, and the hon member knows what a department of State is. It will be a department of State, but it will not be called the Department of General Education Affairs because that department will also deal with other matters.
Mr Chairman, may I please ask a question?
Mr Chairman, may I just finish dealing with this point first? In addition to the other matters which will be entrusted to the department, it will also be responsible for handling general education affairs. This does not, however, mean that it is going to be an exclusive, central education department. In my opinion to argue about this matter any further will merely lead to members trying to score political points off each other.
Mr Chairman, can the hon the Minister tell us whether this is going to be a parallel department, like the Department of Prisons which falls under the Director-General of Justice?
There is no Department of Prisons.
But there is a prisons branch which falls under the Department of Law and Order, which has an administration of its own. Does the hon the Minister possibly foresee a directorate for general education?
Mr Chairman, it is not possible for me to say at this stage how it is going to be classified. This is a matter on which the Prime Minister will decide, after discussions with qualified bodies such as the Commission for Administration. Whether one calls it a directorate, a branch or a subdepartment, it will be an element which will be included in a department of State for general affairs which will also deal with general education affairs.
Mr Chairman, I should like to move away from the argument that has been going on between the two right-wing sides in this House. I move the amendment that stands in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 5. On page 3, in line 8, after “at”, to insert “or by”.
This is purely a technical amendment. The definition of “formal education” according to the Bill means education provided at a school, college, technikon, university, etc. I think we have a problem with the word “at” which according to Claasen’s Dictionary of Legal Words and Phrases denotes “a local or geographical point only”. We have here, I believe, a definition which needs to include “correspondence education” under the definition of “formal education”.
Mr Chairman, I think that the amendment moved by the hon member for Pinetown fits in perfectly here and I am therefore prepared to accept it.
I should now also like to move the amendments printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 1. On page 3, in line 10, after “educational” to insert “degree,”.
- 2. On page 3, in line 28, to omit “every” and to substitute “the”.
- 3. On page 3, in line 29, after “education” to insert “who may be concerned,”.
I am moving the second and third amendments because I think the provision in the Bill covers too wide a field in that it imposes an obligation on the Minister responsible for general education affairs to obtain the concurrence of every Minister of a State department responsible for education when he recognizes organized bodies of the teaching profession. I think it is sufficient if he only obtains the concurrence of the Minister of a State department responsible for education who may be concerned, in other words, who may be concerned with the education of a population group in respect of which the organized teaching profession is relevant here.
I should like to come back to the matter of principle that was raised earlier in the debate. I want to make it clear that where the words in the De Lange report read that a single central education department should be established, it was also expressly stated in respect of that education department that it should not have normal operational or executive education functions. As it was put at that time at the Press conference on the report by Prof De Lange and Dr Garbers themselves, that central education department must not own or control any schools or employ any teachers. It must restrict itself to the general policy aspects. This also applies to this division for general education affairs which has been entrusted to the State department which is the responsibility of the Minister who has to lay down general education policy. It will therefore be a department that has to do with laying down general education policy and with the whole process of consultation which builds up to the formulation of that policy. It will be a department that will see to it that general education policy is in fact implemented by all the different departments responsible everywhere. It will not be a department that has an education task in the sense that it has schools or other education institutions under its control, or that it has teachers or other tutoring staff in its service. It will therefore clearly be a department restricted to the four functions laid down in this. Any other point-scoring will be in vain, except if the very clear intention is distorted and presented incorrectly.
I should like to come to the remark made by the hon member for Bryanston when he said that he regretted that this Bill had been formulated “within the constraints of the Government’s new constitution”. I think that this is where one of the basic problems of the hon member for Bryanston and his colleagues lies. They speak of “the Government’s new constitution”, but the sooner they realize that this new constitution is not the Government’s constitution, but the constitution of Parliament, of the sovereign legislator of the Republic of South Africa, and that it was accepted with the overwhelming endorsement of the voters in a referendum, the better it will be for them. It would assist the progress of the political debate and of constructive statecraft in this country if that political fact and reality is accepted and “the Government’s constitution” is not referred to in this scornful and superior manner. We have here a constitution that was duly passed by Parliament and sanctioned by the voters of South Africa with an overwhelming majority.
I also want to refer very briefly to the unfair implication of the hon member for Bryanston that the policy of the Government to recognize the different population groups and peoples in South Africa, and not only in politics, but also in social life and in education in particular, must give rise to total isolation between the various population groups. That is not the case. A disregard in the education context of the diversity of populations and of the necessity we have already argued many times in this House for separate education systems for the different population groups, will only lead to destabilization and to a lack of security among population groups to whom the matter of own education is of the utmost importance. However, this does not mean that one need bring about total or complete isolation through one’s system of education. Under educational guidance the necessary disclosure of the aspirations of other population groups and of their representatives can also take place in the education context. However, this takes place within the context and on the basis of different education systems, different schools and different education departments for the different population groups.
I also want to refer once again to the refusal of the hon member for Koedoespoort to admit that the words “integrated” and “mixed” have different meanings. He claims that we must simply accept that his party has introduced new semantics or semasiology into the Afrikaans language. Surely “mixed” and “integrated” are clearly two different concepts. When people of different kinds come together in a particular situation, it is a mixed situation. The hon members of the CP are mixed in the garden and they are mixed in the sitting-room and in the dining-room where they are served, or even in their bedrooms where they are served coffee. When people of different population groups find themselves together in a shop or on a sports pavilion, they are mixed. That is not integration, however. We spelt out clearly in the Second Reading debate that according to the normal, accepted meaning of that word amongst all those who are informed about the semantics of the Afrikaans language, “integration” occurs when mixing is effected to the extent that separate identities of the people in the mixed situation are fragmented or destroyed, or that their own community context is undermined and they are turned into a unitary community, whether it be social or political. That is integrated. That is integration. It is something completely different from ordinary mixing which could be relevant in various superficial situations. The hon members on the opposite side are not capable of accepting or willing to accept that difference in meaning.
Mr Chairman, I would really appreciate it if the hon the Minister could try to explain to us what the difference is between a mixed school and an integrated school.
A mixed school would be an integrated school by definition. [Interjections.] If one takes people out of their community for education purposes and places them in the same school with other people, one is in fact underming one of the fundamental bases for own community life, viz separate education. The hon members can laugh about it if they wish, but it is a a fact and a reality.
I think that I have dealt with the various arguments that were advanced by hon members opposite. I do not wish to deal with the altercation between the hon member for Durban North and the hon member Prof Olivier. I shall let this suffice and confirm that I am prepared to accept the amendment of the hon member for Pinetown.
Mr Chairman, there are three questions I should like to put to the hon the hon the Minister on the basis of clause l(v). Firstly, I want to know from the hon the Minister whether the “Minister” contemplated in this clause can also be a member of the Brown population group or of the Indian population group. Secondly, I want to know whether the subdivision of this particular State department which is going to look after general policy matters is going to be mixed or integrated. I should like to know that. Let me put it in a different way. I assume that this particular State department has to look after three population groups, according to the hon the Minister’s view of the three communities in the tricameral Parliament. Does the hon the Minister regard that subdivision of the State department concerned as mixed because individuals of all three the population groups are going to be present to look after their interests, or does the hon the Minister regard it as an integrated subdivision of that particular State department? [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, the ability of the hon member for Rissik to count is apparently not so good. I thought he wanted to put three questions to me. He only put two questions, however. [Interjections.]
The answer to his first question is clear, of course. It was made very clear by the Government at the outset—this is clear from the constitution as well; no one has ever denied this—that Ministers are appointed as members of the Cabinet which is responsible for general affairs on merit. Just as in the case of the election of the State President there is no restriction with regard to the population group from which they come. That provision already applied as far back as in the constitutional proposals which the hon member for Rissik and other hon members of his party accepted in 1977, as far as the State President, as well as the members of the Council of Cabinets are concerned. The only difference was that the then Council of Cabinets would have included a compulsory number of members of the Coloured population and the Asian population. [Interjections.] We are no longer going as far as that hon member and his hon colleagues went at that time. We have placed the matter on a new basis, viz the basis of merit.
This brings me to the answer to the hon member’s second question. He wanted to know whether the staff of the State department that will be in charge of general education affairs could also consist of members of all three the population groups. In that regard the hon member for Waterberg, when he was still Minister of State Administration, said in this House that the policy of government administration was that of merit, on the understanding that preference be given to people of a particular population group for services rendered to that population group. However, when it concerns common services, matters will not be different, in accordance with the standpoint the hon member for Rissik supported at that time as well. The only principle that will apply will be the principle of merit.
Members of all the population groups will therefore be appointed to that department on merit.
No, that definitely does not mean that education is now being integrated. Not at all. After all, education is controlled and managed, schools are owned and controlled, teachers are employed, etc, by separate education departments for the various population groups. Hon members of the CP cannot get away from that fact. Consequently, the only way in which they can score political points off the Government is by making use of their old tactic of misrepresentation to the voters at large and by threatening people by saying that next year or the year after their children will be sitting next to pupils of other population groups in the same classrooms. That is what those hon members are doing, instead of confining themselves to the contents of the legislation and interpreting them fairly and correctly. There is no question of it being an integrated Department of Education.
It is merely going to be a mixed department.
That is a foolish remark. [Interjections.]
Order! Hon members must please afford the hon the Minister the opportunity of replying to the questions put to him.
Mr Chairman, I should just like to put the following question to the hon the Minister: Does he regard this subdivision of the State department concerned as a mixed subdivision or as an integrated subdivision?
Mr Chairman, I have already replied to that question. It is a subdivision in which people are appointed on merit, in accordance with the policy the hon member for Waterberg pursued at that time. The principle of merit in the Public Service was laid down by the hon member for Waterberg himself when he was still the Minister. [Interjections.]
There will indeed be people of different population groups in that State department. Of course, this does not mean that education is going to be integrated as a result. As I have already said, education is controlled and managed by separate education departments for the various population groups, each with its own separate schools and staff. Each one deals with its own affairs completely separately.
Amendments 1 to 3 and 5 agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, I move the amendments to this clause printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 4. One page 5, in line 12, to omit all the words after “that” up to and including “attendance”, in line 15.
- 5. On page 5, in line 27, after “education” to insert:
- 6. On page 5, in line 55, to omit “may” and to substitute “shall”.
- 7. On page 5, in line 56, to omit “any matter” and to substitute “all matters”.
Amendment 4 deals with principle (iii) as set out on page 5 of the Bill. This principle is objectionable to us in respect of the classification of the educational system according to race which we dealt with comprehensively both during the Second Reading debate and also in the discussion of clause 1. What we are attempting to do here is to remove what to our mind is the objectionable nature of this principle by the omission of the words proposed to be omitted. If these words are removed from this principle, the objectionable race aspect of this principle will be removed and it will then become acceptable to us. I want to appeal to the hon the Minister therefore to consider accepting amendment 4.
As far as amendment 5 is concerned, principle (vi) states:
While principle (viii) provides:
Amendment 5 seeks to make it clear by the insertion of the words proposed to be inserted in principle (vi) that the responsibility of the State for the provision of formal education will take into consideration the provisions of principle (viii) and that in respect of the provision of education by private schools and institutions, the full responsibility in this regard does not rest on the State but, as set out in principle (viii), that the State will provide subsidies in this regard. We should like to hear from the hon the Minister what he envisages the subsidization of such education will mean.
As far as amendment 6 is concerned, subsection (3)(a) provides that:
The purpose of amendments 6 and 7 is to change the wording of this subsection so that it reads:
The purpose of these amendments is to remove from the Minister the discretion to decide in regard to what matters relating to salaries and conditions of employment he should consult such a committee or such a committee supported by a subcommittee, and that in all matters relating to salaries and conditions of employment of teachers the Minister will be compelled to consult that committee. In this regard too I want to appeal to the hon the Minister to accept the amendments.
Mr Chairman, as far as amendment 4 moved by the hon member for Bryanston is concerned, this is the amendment that we recognized would come in the wake of the sentiment expressed by the hon member in his remarks on clause 1. That is why we must be very careful in accepting the amendment of the hon member because the implication is very clear. This widens the scope for parents to have the statutory right to decide to which school their children shall go, and that will then be binding on the general policy of education. That is contrary to the concept which we in this party have of education being a very intimate concern with in the control of each particular ethnic group in South Africa until such time as that ethnic group under a fair referendum decide by majority that they are not averse to the entrance of members of other ethnic groups into their group.
What has happened to your policy of local option?
That is local option.
No, it is ethnic option.
Of course, because local option applies to an ethnic group. [Interjections.]
Order! I have called upon the hon member for Durban North to speak and no one else.
The implication of amendment 4 of the hon member is to widen the scope and to accept the principle of a unitary educational system within which the parent has the option to send his child to any institution of his choice and that is then binding on the institution. We are not to be found for that.
As far as amendment 5 is concerned we have no difficulty with that, but we do have difficulty with amendments 6 and 7. We prefer the hon the Minister to have the discretion to decide whether he is going to establish this committee. Obviously it is the intention of the hon the Minister to establish it otherwise he would not make provision for it. The consequential change is something which one can then debate if the word “shall” is accepted. We do not accept the word “shall”; we prefer the word “may” for two cogent reasons. In the first instance there is the accountability of the Minister. In respect of his actions in regard to salaries and conditions of service the Minister will then be beyond reproach because he will be bound to take the advice of this committee which he will be bound to establish. Therefore there is a decrease in the responsibility of the Minister to Parliament in respect of the committee which he is going to establish. We prefer that discretion to be there and therefore the onus and responsibility for accountability will then rest fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Minister. The alternative, if we accept the word “shall”, is that there is an obligation placed on the Minister. He will have no discretion at all in respect not only of the establishment of the committee, but also the advice they give him. We believe that is undemocratic practice. The Minister is elected to this Parliament, he is appointed by the State President and he is accountable to this Parliament for what is specified in this clause, and we believe that he should carry that responsibility. There should be no diminution of that responsibility by forcing him to do things in terms of the hon member’s amendment.
Mr Chairman, I have problems with the arguments of the hon member for Durban North particularly in the light of the fact that the Government’s White Paper sets out the principles which the Government accepted. It states as principle No 3:
We said during the Second Reading debate that what the hon the Minister has done in this is to collapse the principles of the NP into this principle of the provision of education which was put forward by the HSRC. What the hon member for Durban North is saying is that his party does not agree with the HSRC and does not agree with the White Paper of the Government. I have also problems with the whole concept of ethic control of education because it is not ethnic control of education; it is skin colour and not ethnicity at all. It distinguishes on the lines of White, Brown, Indian and Black and it does not provide for minority groups within those skin groupings to have control of their own educational system and neither does it provide for the local option which was the drum beat of the NRP in the past which would allow a local community to have a say. I have a particular problem with that party’s documentation in this matter where they have said that they will allow communities to have control and to allow their schools to be open. Yet here comes the hon member for Durban North and say: No, it will be according to skin colour.
In regard to amendment 6, the substitution of “shall” for “may” and amendment 7, the substitution of “all matters” for “any matter” the hon member for Durban North has problems because those committees already exist. Therefore the hon the Minister “shall” appoint. In regard to the inclusion of “all matters” and in regard to the question of accountability, according to the hon member for Durban North the Minister is bound to take the advice of KOS and NAKOS. But he is not bound to accept their advice. In any event, there were times in the past when the hon the Minister and the Minister of Finance did not accept their advice. What we would like to see is that the hon the Minister and the Commission for Administration are bound to consult them although they are not bound to accept their advice.
Mr Chairman, I am not going to argue with the hon member on the question of a unitary versus an ethnic educational system because here there are principal differences between the NRP and the PFP, and I am sure I shall not be able to convince them of the correctness of our standpoint. What I do wish to point out is that the concept of the freedom of choice by the parent, as advocated by the De Lange Committee and by the White Paper, is within the context of a differentiated educational system, the differentiation being on ethnic lines. We have no difficulty in accepting that principle in the context of a non-unitary educational system.
In regard to amendments 6 and 7 I want to point out to the hon member that if we have “shall” in conjunction with “all matters” the discretion of the committee on which matters to give the Minister advice is not the Minister’s discretion. It says “all matters” and those matters will then be decided by that committee and not by the Minister.
Mr Chairman, I require certain further elucidation from the hon the Minister. Firstly, I want to refer to clause 2(l)(d) which deals with norms and standards for syllabuses and examination, and for certification of qualifications. We require a clear explanation from the hon the Minister concerning precisely what is meant by “norms and standards” for syllabuses. Does this also relate to the content of those syllabuses, to the correctness of syllabuses, to the interpretation of history, or of a variety of matters in primary and secondary education?
Further on in (d)(i) it is stated:
We are aware of how this particular slogan is dealt with internationally, but what was the reason for the hon the Minister writing it in here, specifically in this legislation? Should we not leave out the question of colour, since it is only one facet when it comes to classifying man as belonging to a particular race? What is important to the Minister here that he has to write it in? Would it not have been better for us to have spoken here of “… race, creed or sex …”?
Furthermore, (d)(ii) mentions “religious and cultural way of life”. In the Act of 1967 the term “godsdienstig” is used. The word “religious” appears in the English text. Why has the word “godsdienstig” been replaced with “religieuse” in the Afrikaans text?
Mr Chairman, I move the first amendment to this clause as printed in my name on the Order Paper, namely:
- 1. On page 3, in line 35, after “any” to insert “general”.
In order to eliminate any misunderstanding it is hereby clearly stated that it must be some general law relating to the financing of education. It is not the intention that this general policy be made subject to the own laws on finance of the various Houses. That would be totally impractical and unfeasible. It is very clearly the intention that what is contemplated here is some general law relating to the financing of education.
My second amendment also relates to the matter referred to by the hon member for Bryanston, viz principle (iii). I therefore move amendment 2 to clause 2 as printed in my name on the Order Paper:
- 2. On page 5, from line 14, to omit “who is subject to compulsory school attendance” and to substitute “of another population group”.
The reason for this amendment is twofold. The first is that at this stage, compulsory school attendance has not yet been introduced into the systems of education of all population groups. The policy of the Government is that there must be separate schools for the various population groups at school level, irrespective of whether the pupil is subject to compulsory school attendance or not. In the second place, this concerns an issue about which there can be no misunderstanding and which the Government stated very clearly in its interim memorandum on the HSRC report in October 1981. I refer here to paragraph 3.4 of the report, in which the Government clearly stated that after the Government had accepted the principles, there were also specific standpoints based on principle which it adopted as a point of departure with regard to the implementation of what was accepted from the report. I quote from paragraph 3.4:
At the time, therefore, the Government stated the matter clearly. The hon member for Pinetown has repeatedly said that this is something that he and his party cannot agree with. Therefore it is necessary, in order to implement the standpoint stated by the Government at the time, and this amendment to the clause be effected.
My third amendment relates to a matter which has been debated at some length, viz the two committees in connection with advice on matters of staff, salary and conditions of employment. I therefore move amendment 3 to clause 2 as printed in my name on the Order Paper, namely:
- 3. On page 5, in line 55, after “may” to insert:
Why no “in”?
Because ultimately the Minister himself must make the decision. He first consults and subsequently he makes a decision.
I now turn to the amendments of the hon member for Bryanston. Amendment 4 relates to principle (iii), and I have already referred to it. It is not acceptable, because it negates the essence of the proviso that the Government stated very clearly in 1981, and which it stands by.
I do not deem it necessary to accept amendment 5 either. If all relations between these principles were to be properly cross-referenced, it would probably be necessary to insert a great many other cross-references too. It is clearly stated in the White Paper and in the De Lange report that these eleven principles are not stated in order of priority, but that all the principles must be implemented in such a way that they mutually interact with, and balance, one another. We consulted the law advisers on whether it was necessary to put it that way and their advice was that if one were to incorporate all eleven principles in the legislation, it would mean that they would have to be regarded as mutually interacting. Therefore we do not deem it necessary to insert in principle (vi) a reference to principle (viii). However, I want to give the hon member for Bryanston the assurance once again that the Government has accepted principle (viii), viz that provision must be made for the establishment and State subsidizing of private schools. As far as White education is concerned, we have at this stage already received an interdepartmental report on a co-ordinated State subsidy for private schools, and the Government is considering it at present. We hope to finalize this matter as soon as possible.
I hope I shall have the support of the hon member for Durban North for my acceptance of the sixth amendment, viz to omit “may” and to substitute “shall”, but that the seventh amendment will not, then, be accepted. I should mention in passing that in the interim I have also received representations from the Federale Council of Teachers’ Associations to substitute “shall” for “may” to eliminate any doubt that these two committees must be appointed to advise the Minister. The hon member for Durban North is quite right in saying that if we were to substitute “all matters” here, it would have a limiting effect on the Minister’s initiative and this could lead to impossible excesses, in that all kinds of matters relating to detail—even personal and individual matters relating to salaries and conditions of employment—would also have to be referred to the two committees. J really hope that the hon member for Bryanston will find it acceptable if we let “any matter” suffice. I think that that is sufficiently widely stated. There must be some flexibility in this regard. If “all matters” were to be inserted then, as the hon member for Durban North correctly argued, the Minister would, as it were, be selling out his responsibility to these two committees. Unfortunately, therefore, I shall not be able to accept the seventh amendment. However, I do accept the sixth amendment.
The hon member for Rissik put certain questions. His first question concerns clause 2(l)(d), viz whether the norms and standards for syllabuses will include the contents of syllabuses. In fact we have already explained that point in the White Paper. Certain minimum contents of syllabuses will probably be essential in order to lay down norms and standards. However, the maximum room for manoeuvre and flexibility must be allowed—this is also stated in the White Paper—so that every education department may develop the content of the various subjects as it sees fit, in terms of its specific cultural background and approach. Therefore norms and standards would only entail certain minimum contents which could be specified. I repeat: The emphasis is on the room for manoeuvre and freedom of every department—this is also set out in the White Paper—to spell out the content for themselves as they see fit, particularly as regards the aspects of culture and philosophy. The hon member also wanted to know why the words “irrespective of race, colour, creed or sex” had been inserted. There is a very simple answer which I can give the hon member. I refer in this regard to the interim memorandum on the HSRC report issued by the Government. This interim memorandum was accepted and released by the Government in October 1981. That Government at the time included, inter alia, the hon member for Waterberg and the hon member for Lichtenburg. They accepted principle (i) without any objection whatsoever. Their only objection to these principles—and I and every other member of the Cabinet also objected to this—was the formulation with regard to freedom of choice of parents, which is in fact qualified in this Bill. That is the only point on which we depart significantly from the recommendations of the De Lange report. However, principle (i) as it was formulated was not questioned at the time. I think it would be best for the hon member to start by trying to resolve that question in his caucus.
If the hon member wants to ask why reference is not also made to sex …
I used the term “people”.
Reference is indeed made to sex.
I am speaking about the people.
I do not believe that the people is at issue here. But we could have inserted that too. There are many other possibilities as well, for example hair colour and so on. [Interjections.] The De Lange Committee, which consisted of responsible educationalists—apparently the hon member’s leader and deputy leader also thought so—decided that these were the essential aspects that had to be inserted here, and no one has advanced any reason to depart from it. As I recall, the hon member for Rissik asked in a previous debate why we did not insert age as well. Surely that is ridiculous, because after all, we are not going to establish equal standards irrespective of age. Surely we have to set different standards for those in the primary and those in the secondary school phases, and so on. Therefore there are very good reasons for this.
Then, too, it is asked why, in the Afrikaans text, the word “religieuse” was used instead of “godsdienstige”. Personally I have no preference in this regard, and I want to point out to the hon members that in the 1967 Act, the National Education Policy Act—the Act which the hon member for Rissik and the hon member for Koedoespoort neatly tried to deny, as if it supposedly no longer existed—the religious foundations are in fact dealt with. As far as White education is concerned, these things are clearly spelt out in that Act, viz a Christian National foundation and the recognition of religious freedom. The issue here is the diversity of cultural, linguistic and religious variety in respect of the whole population of the country. If anyone thinks that he can score a political point in this regard, he can go ahead and try. I can give no clear answer as to why any specific word should be selected. In any event, the word “religious” is used in English and it corresponds with the terminology in the 1967 Act.
I shall confine myself to these words to the hon member for Rissik and my reaction to the amendments moved by the hon member for Bryanston.
Mr Chairman, the question was why the word “religieuse” is being used here, when we used the word “godsdiens” previously. We are not trying to argue about it. I concede that the hon the Minister is a linguist and I thought that he would avail himself of the opportunity to explain the distinction between the two words to us, and also why we used the word “godsdiens” and not “religieus” in a previous Act.
There is no conscious reason for that.
Very well, then I accept it. As regards the question of “irrespective of race, colour, creed” and so on, I just want to tell the hon the Minister that if at a particular stage whilst we were in the NP one of my colleagues, or I myself, had either not questioned certain things, or perhaps did not have the chance to do so, there were certain specific reasons for that. Therefore, when the two parties become involved in an argument, it is no use the hon the Minister simply saying when we put fundamental questions to him: Yes, but two or three years ago you said this or that. A reaction of that nature is usually irrelevant.
We are now introducing a concept into our legislation on education which has been used in the international liberalistic world for decades to put the diversity of races and peoples in the world on an equal footing. We are introducing this here now, too, and I want to point out to the hon the Minister that this means a liberalization of education in South Africa, therefore of White education as well. Consequently, what I want to know from the hon the Minister is why he is using this particular terminology. [Interjections.] I also just want to tell the hon the Minister that it is no use involving the hon member for Waterberg in this debate.
As soon as he is in trouble, he runs … [Interjections.]
I was not there, and as far as I am concerned, it was not discussed in the caucus. If it was in fact discussed there, I would have reacted to it. [Interjections.]
As regards clause 2, the hon the Minister must not once again come with the story that we want to score political points off others. I think the time for that is past. The issue now is principle against principle and policy against policy. Subsection (2) reads: “The policy contemplated in subsection (1) …”, and the hon the Minister will agree with me that it entails a wide variety of things. The policy contemplated in subsection (1) is determined by the Minister, and now the hon the Minister has already intimated that it could also mean that the Minister could be an Indian or a Brown man and he will be able to determine certain things after consultation—not in consultation. It could therefore be an Indian or a Coloured in the new dispensation. In terms of this legislation, a Coloured or an Indian is given an important and formidable say with regard to certain policy aspects. After consultation with the Minister responsible for White education, he can make a final decision on the matters about which consultation has taken place. We can therefore tell the world at large that as far as certain facets of education are concerned, the education of the Whites is now being made subordinate not only to the multiracial coalition Cabinet, but to the Minister in charge of general education affairs, who could be a Coloured or an Indian. This is something in respect of which we differ fundamentally and radically with the hon the Minister. These are the points we are singling out with regard to the direction in which the Minister is moving with his constitutional set-up.
Mr Chairman, I want to refer to the remark made by the hon member for Rissik with regard to subsection (1), and I want to relate this to the statement made by the hon member for Koedoespoort when he said that there should be own standards for each group.
If the norms and standards, as spelt out in subsection (1), are the same, the hon member for Koedoespoort is speaking of racially mixed schools. He says that this is integrated education. In this regard I should like the CP to make this clear. Do they want separate norms and standards in respect of buildings for the different population groups? Are they pleading for separate standards and norms for the different population groups? They are not saying anything, Mr Chairman, but are simply shrugging and do not want to react to this. I therefore assume that they are pleading for separate norms and standards for buildings for the different population groups. I want to go further and ask whether they are pleading for different norms and standards with regard to the ratio between the floor space and the number of pupils for the different population groups.
Just listen to what a verkrampte is saying.
I am now being labelled a verkrampte, verkramp in the same sense as they in the CP are verkramp. [Interjections.]
They are probably pleading for the same thing with regard to salaries and conditions of employment. Are they doing this with regard to syllabuses and examination as well? I can only infer that the CP are pleading for different norms and standards in this regard. This is the inference I make and I am not getting any reaction from them which points to the contrary.
Since we have this confirmantion from the CP, we must assume that they see four kinds of education with different norms and standards in South Africa and that each has to plot its own course. I should like to tell the CP that the premise of this side of the House is that we are striving for equal opportunities for education for all population groups in South Africa. [Interjections.]
Order! Have the hon member for Barberton and the hon member for Brits finished their dialogue?
I have finished, Mr Chairman.
I have, too, Mr Chairman.
In that case the hon member for Gezina may proceed.
I want to reiterate that we on this side of the House are striving for equal opportunities for education for all groups in South Africa. However, we admit that there is an historical inequality which has existed over the years—and we want to try to eliminate this—an inequality in respect of norms and in respect of certain standards. It is the task and the duty of a responsible Government to try to eliminate such inequality. I am not saying that it is easy to do so, but this side of the House— unlike the CP—is at least willing to try. In South Africa we must therefore strive to offer the maximum opportunities for education to all the inhabitants of South Africa. To succeed in doing so, it is necessary that there should be co-ordination in respect of norms and standards. That is where the CP gets stuck. When we want to co-ordinate and bring together the norms and standards we are striving for, they get stuck and say that we are engaged in integrated education. Co-ordination can only be obtained by way of co-ordinated action and a Minister or executive person who can effect that co-ordination. However, what is fundamental is the principle contained in the constitution, viz that education should be dealt with as an own affair, and that each group will deal with the education of its group within the framework of subsection (1), to which the hon member for Rissik referred.
I want to reiterate what I said yesterday, viz that we should not try to turn education in South Africa into a political platform. Education in South Africa is going to be harmed—and I am speaking of education for everyone—if we want to make a political floorcloth of it.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Gezina said we must not make a political platform out of education in South Africa. I want to refer him, however, to a meeting which was held at Potgietersrus and which the hon the Minister of National Education was invited to address. Is that not blatant misuse of a Minister for political ends in an election?
I did not speak about politics; I spoke about education. [Interjections.]
If we speak about a Bill in this House … [Interjections.]
Order! There are just too many other speeches being made across the floor of the House. If hon members do not want to co-operate with me, I will be compelled to act. One cannot give an hon member the floor and then listen to three or four speeches being made simultaneously. I appeal to hon members to co-operate. The hon member for Kuruman may proceed.
If the hon member for Rustenburg writes a letter to teachers to ascertain their political affiliations, it is not abuse of education. When the CP, however, discusses a Bill in this House with the Government, a Bill which fundamentally affects education in South Africa, the hon the Minister and the hon member for Gezina say that we want to steal a march on them politically.
Order! I have now allowed the hon member to react to the remarks of the hon member for Gezina, remarks which in my view did not fall squarely within the ambit of the Bill either. However the hon member for Kuruman must now co-operate and come back to clause 2 of the Bill.
Very well, Sir. This clause specifically relates to and derives from the new dispensation. [Interjections.]
What about beaches?
That frivolous hon member, the hon member for Rustenburg, is someone I simply cannot understand. When we are speaking about education, he gets all confused with beaches. [Interjections.] I think he is a frivolous hon member, and I hope that the teachers, whose political affiliations he is so eager to ascertain, will settle matters with him in the next election. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Rissik referred to the fact that in terms of clause 2(2) the hon the Minister provides that the White Minister, the Coloured Minister and the Indian Minister determine the policy after mutual consultation. That means that people of colour are also to be consulted by this Minister. Then, however, the Minister must also consult the council about education at school level and also about the training of teachers. In accordance with the hon the Minister’s own definition, this council will also be a mixed council.
An integrated council.
No, it is a mixed council. The decision it will take will, I assume, be an integrated decision. [Interjections.] It is a mixed council, however, Mr Chairman. And the Universities and Technikons Advisory Council, which is to be established in terms of clause 2(2)(b), is also to be a mixed council. This umbrella Minister who, as the hon member for Rissik has said, can be a White, a Coloured or an Indian, will therefore be consulting a White, a Coloured or and Indian. He will hold consultations with the SA Council for Education, which will also be a mixed council, and he will hold consultations with the Universities and Technikons Advisory Council, which will likewise be a mixed council. Then he must come to a decision. So that Minister must come to a decision, and thereafter he must, I take it, submit that decision to the Cabinet. The Cabinet will also be multiracial.
An integrated Cabinet.
No, according to the Minister it will not be an integrated Cabinet; it will be a mixed Cabinet. The decision of this mixed Cabinet, I take it, will be an integrated decision concerning the education policy of South Africa that is now being formulated.
Clause 2(4) reads as follows:
The individual Ministers who are going to deal with the educational own affairs of both the Whites and the Coloureds, Indians and Black people, will have to carry out the policy of this umbrella Minister. Although the hon member for Virginia says that this only affects four aspects, I want to contend that those are four aspects intrinsically affecting education in South Africa. I therefore want to put it to the hon member for Virginia that in this case we can no longer speak of self-determination. When the hon member for Waterberg, the hon leader of the CP, was still Minister of Education and Training, this was a White Parliament and he was a member of the Cabinet of this White Parliament. He was also accountable to a White Cabinet. Now, however, we have a new situation here. At the time it was also NP policy—the old NP, to which we also belonged—that no person of colour could become Director-General of a Government department either. Now both the hon the Minister of Education and Training and the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs wish to intimate that it is indeed possible. [Interjections.] In terms of the policy of the old NP it could not happen. In terms of the present policy of the new NP it is, however, possible.
In terms of the new policy of the NP the policy of this Minister, who will be a member of the mixed Cabinet, will have to be carried out. It will have to be carried out, in terms of the provision contained in clause 2(4), by both the Whites and the Coloureds and Indians. That is why I am contending that the Coloureds do not have full-fledged self-determination in regard to their own education. Nor do the Indians have it, and even the Whites do not have full-fledged self-determination in regard to their own educational matters. [Interjections.]
I therefore want to put it to the hon member for Gezina that the CP does not begrudge each and every people its own education department. [Interjections.] There is something happening in this House that gives me cause for grave concern. If an hon member stands up and fights for the interests of the White man in this country, if what he is fighting for is that the White man should not relinquish his right to self-determination in regard to his own education, those hon members opposite sit there laughing. [Interjections.] Let them laugh, but the people of South Africa are going to settle accounts with them because they have tossed that people’s right to self-determination onto the scrap-heap. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I really have a problem as regards the way hon members of the CP have dealt with this legislation. In view of the election which is in progress at present, those hon members are trying to score a few political points with their speeches.
They began with the question of the education department to try to make the idea take root in this House—for consumption outside—that there is no longer going to be a specific White education department, but that there is only going to be one umbrella education department. [Interjections.] That is the reason why they are deliberately trying to become semantic about the whole question of an education department of the State.
In view of the remark of the hon member for Koedoespoort with regard to “after consultation”, the hon member for Rissik wanted to try to create the impression that the possibility exists that the Whites could be turned over to a Coloured Minister responsible for general education affairs, or an Indian Minister, which, as the hon the Minister has already said, is possible in theory. However, the hon member than just left it at that and left the impression that a dangerous situation could develop in the future as regards the White man.
The hon member for Kuruman, went a little further, however, and I must say that is to his credit. He said that this policy must be determined after consultation and by way of advice from these different education advisory bodies that are being established now. The hon member for Kuruman also said that if this were to be taken further and legislation should follow, it should be submitted to a Cabinet. I just want to point out that the hon member for Rissik did not spell this out in full. He simply left it at that so that that misconception could be conveyed to the outside world. The hon member for Kuruman took it a little further, to the Cabinet, but then he, too, simply left it at that. However, the point is that that Minister of general education affairs, whether he is a White, a Coloured or an Indian, is a member of a Cabinet—a racially mixed Cabinet, to use the words of the hon members of the CP— which is composed on merit in that they are chosen by the State President. Of course, we could take the whole matter further and ask how the State President got there, etc, but this does not fall within the scope of this discussion, and I therefore want to leave it at that. However, the point I want to emphasize is that the particular Minister responsible for general education affairs, irrespective of his race, is bound to the decision of the Cabinet. If further legislation had to arise out of this to give substance to the policy, it would have to be approved by all three the Houses of Parliament in any case, because it is a general affair.
I therefore just want to tell those hon members that they must tell the whole truth so that we can convey the full perspective of this matter to the outside world. Then it will be better accepted by the public at large.
Mr Chairman, with reference to what the hon member for Virginia has stated so effectively, I just want to re-emphasize the basic principle that with regard to this matter, as is the case with the entire political set-up, the NP is convinced that within the given realities of South Africa there are certain general affairs which simply have to be recognized. There are certain matters of common concern to all the various population groups that exist and these must be recognized as such. One can only arrive at the ideal postulated by the hon member for Koedoespoort of total self-determination and total separation and similar concepts the hon member for Kuruman mentioned if one establishes geographically separate states. We discussed this matter of own states for Coloureds and Indians in a long debate last year, and the House rejected it.
After that, although it was not necessary for him to do so, the hon the Prime Minister put the same question to the voters and it was rejected by an overwhelming majority, beyond all expectations. These are the facts we are dealing with, namely that in the opinion of this House and in the opinion of the voters of South Africa it is simply not attainable to establish separate, geographically-separated dispensations for the three population groups involved in this constitutional dispensation.
For that reason we have to accept that in education there will also be certain matters that are general matters and will have to be accepted as such. Those general matters can only be meaningful general matters if they are binding on all the various education systems in the country. Those general matters that we have mentioned and typified here time and again are necessary in respect of education, in the first place, in fairness to those parts of the community whose education has not yet developed sufficiently for us to honestly say that they have equal opportunities. There is therefore a fairness requirement which we cannot disagree on among ourselves. In the second place, general affairs with a binding effect are also necessary, because they must protect those persons who have attained specific standards against the lowering of standards which could occur in other groups. Consequently there is fairness on the one hand, but there is also protection of standards on the other. One can only achieve this if one accepts the general affair as such and if one accepts that once it has been determined, it becomes binding on all the various population groups.
The consequence of the acceptance of the fact of common affairs is the additional fundamental acceptance by this side of the House, which is also embodied in the Constitution, that decisions must be taken on those affairs through shared responsibility, by way of joint decision-making. When such decisions are taken by a Minister in respect of general affairs, in the normal course of Cabinet administration and functioning, this is seen as a matter on which all the members of that Cabinet accept shared responsibility, on which there is collective responsibility in the Cabinet. No Minister can however retain his political position if he simply goes ahead on his own and makes decisions on sensitive matters without consulting his colleagues, without reaching an agreement with them, so that an informed basis in fact exists for the joint Cabinet responsibility. If one does not understand this fact of Cabinet functioning, then one will definitely find it difficult to understand precisely what lies behind this shared responsibility, because even if one could give an absolute guarantee that a Minister responsible for a specific general affair could only be White, it still remains a basic principle of Cabinet responsibility that all the members of the Cabinet will eventually accept joint responsibility for the decision of that Minister.
This matter is not something which is emerging for the first time now; this matter was clearly and unequivocally spelt out under the leadership of the hon the Prime Minister and was accepted by this House and by the voters and also formed the foundation of this legislation, even if this foundation was criticized by hon members of the official Opposition. This is the fact, this is the reality, this is the accepted and approved framework within which we are acting and will continue to act.
Mr Chairman, I want to make a few final remarks about this specific debate. In the first place I want to say two things to the hon member for Gezina. The one is with reference to the fact that the hon member said that there were historical inequalities in the education of the various peoples in Southern Africa. The hon member and the Government will very definitely have to realize that the Government is entering upon a political dispensation in which it will have to eliminate these historic inequalities—and there is a great deal we could say about that. Today I want to say here that the hon the Minister and the Government have embarked on something that will cost them very dearly. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister is very nervous because he knows what is involved. I maintain that we are entering upon a dispensation in which a Minister will have to eliminate historical inequalities.
Are you opposed to that?
This is a matter one could debate at length, but this is not the time to do so. I would have liked to have had a long debate with the hon member for Pretoria West on the education policy being put forward here.
The hon member for Gezina must not try to create the impression here—as he frequently does in public, particularly to Coloured, Blacks and Indians—that the CP is not prepared or willing to allow, nor sees any sense in allowing each people in this country to have control over its own system of education or for each people, off its own bat and with the assistance of the Whites, to work out an education system which will bring that people up to a standard where it will be able to hold its own in the modern world in the times in which we live. In the long run each people will have to determine the quality of its education for itself. Anyone who makes allegations to the contrary about the policy of the CP is not telling the truth. The hon member for Gezina knows very well what this is all about. He should look at the programme of principles of the CP in regard to the White education system. As far as this is concerned, he need only change the word “White” to Coloured, Indian or black in each case. We do not begrudge any one of those population groups anything we demand for ourselves. [Interjections.] That is why we shall enter upon the new dispensation and also sit with Coloured and Indians and hold discussions with Blacks, and what I am saying now we shall also discuss with them. The image of the CP hon members on that side of the House are creating is not a true one.
Amendments 1 to 3 agreed to.
Amendment 4 put and the Committee divided:
Ayes—22: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Boraine, A L; Burrows, R M; Cronjè, P C; Dalling, D J; Eglin, C W; Goodall, B B; Hulley, R R; Malcomess, D J N; Moorcroft, E K; Myburgh, P A; Olivier, N J J; Savage, A; Sive, R; Slabbert, F V Z; Soal, P G; Swart, RAF; Tarr, M A; Van Rensburg, H E J.
Tellers: G B D McIntosh and A B Widman.
Noes—84: Alant, T G; Ballot, G C; Barlett, G S; Blanché, J P I; Botha, C J v R; Breytenbach, W N; Clase, P J; Cronjé, P; Cunningham, J H; Delport, W H; De Pontes, P; Du Plessis, B J; Du Plessis, G C; Durr, K D S; Du Toit, J P; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Geldenhuys, A; Geldenhuys, B L; Golden, S G A; Grobler, J P; Hardingham, R W; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heyns, J H; Kleynhans, J W; Koornhof, P G J; Le Grange, L; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Le Roux, Z P; Ligthelm, N W; Louw, E v d M; Louw, M H; Malherbe, G J; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Mentz, J H W; Miller, R B; Munnik, LAPA; Nothnagel, A E; Olivier, P J S; Page, B W B; Pieterse, J E; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, P H, Rabie, J; Raw, W V; Rogers, PRC; Schoeman, W J; Simkin, C H W; Steyn, D W; Swanepoel, K D; Terblanche, G P D; Thompson, A G; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, C V; Van der Merwe, G J; Van der Walt, A T; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Staden, J W; van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, A A; Vermeulen, J A J; Viljoen, G v N; Vilonel, J J; Volker, V A; Watterson, D W; Welgemoed, P J; Wentzel, J J G; Wiley, J W E.
Tellers; W J Cuyler, S J de Beer, W T Kritzinger, J J Niemann, L van der Watt and H M J van Rensburg (Mossel Bay).
Amendment 5 negatived.
Amendment 6 agreed to.
Amendment 7 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Clause, as amended, agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, may I on a point of procedure point out that during the discussion of clause 1, I indicated that I would withdraw an amendment on that clause in the light of an amendment I had on the Order Paper on clause 2 if the hon the Minister was prepared to accept that amendment. The hon the Minister indicated that he would be prepared to accept that amendment. Unfortunately, when clause 2 was put the amendment was not moved, and I now request the Committee to accept this amendment and to deal with it as an amendment that the hon the Minister has accepted.
Order! I must point out that the Committee cannot on its own motion revert to a clause that has already been dealt with. The House may, however, direct that the Committee Stage be resumed. Therefore, when I report to the Speaker at the end of this Committee Stage, I shall bring this to his attention.
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows
- 1. On page 7, in line 9, to omit paragraph (a).
Clause 3 concerns the establishment of a South African Council for Education, a body that is seen, certainly by the Human Sciences Research Council, as one of the most important advisory committees in education in South Africa. The Human Sciences Research Council’s report also makes it quite clear that this body should be an important advisory committee with a high degree of independence. It should be made up of representatives of all population groups and should advise the Minister in regard to the education of all population groups in South Africa. The amendment that I moved relates to the appointment of the chairman of that South African Council for Education. We on this side of the House believe that such an appointment should be vested in the council itself, that it should be considered as having sufficient authority and prestige to make its own appointments. My colleague the hon member for Bryanston will move further the consequential amendment.
Mr Chairman, we have had a careful look at the amendment of the hon member for Pinetown because at first glance it would appear to have some merit. However, if one has a look at the precedents, the custom, as far as other statutory bodies of a similar nature are concerned, one will find at all times that the Minister, or in the case of provincial councils the Exco members, normally appoint the chairman when they also appoint the members of that particular committee. As this is going to be a statutory body—it already exists to a certain extent but it will now be in a different shape—we believe that as it is the prerogative of the Minister to appoint the members, it should be his prerogative also to appoint the chairman. I think if the hon member does a little research, he will find that in fact a precedent for this has been created, and I may quote one of two examples. Firstly, there is the Development and Services Board in Natal, a body which works very effectively. Its members and chairman are designated by the members of Exco. This is the case also with other statutory bodies. I believe there is merit in the fact that when one makes a committee an instrument for the implementation of policy the chairmanship should be as controlled by and be accountable to the Minister as are the members. We will therefore not be able to support the amendment of the hon member for Pine-town.
Mr Chairman, we on this side of the House are convinced that the amendment does not improve on the clause. Because we are, however, opposed to this Bill and therefore also to this clause, it does not matter to us whether or not the hon the Minister accepts the amendment. The eventual outcome is immaterial to us. I just want to say that those of us this side of the House would prefer the present wording of the clause to be retained, but I want to repeat that it is actually immaterial to us whether it is or not because this clause, like the entire Bill, is unacceptable to us.
Mr Chairman, I move the amendments printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 2. On page 7, after line 13, to insert:
- (c) one member appointed by the Minister from the members of the National Training Board;
- 3. On page 7, from line 17, to omit paragraph (d) and to substitute:
- (d) one representative from each of the national states appointed by the Chief Minister of such national state.
Order! Unfortunately I cannot accept the hon member’s second amendment because it seeks to introduce a new and important principle not contemplated by the Bill as read a Second Time.
Mr Chairman, I hope that you will allow me to motivate the idea behind the amendment. I do, however, accept your ruling that the amendment is out of order.
As far as the first amendment is concerned, I think that the hon the Minister will concede that there is such a close link between education in the ordinary scholastic sense of the word and the training of manpower and the important work being done in this connection by the National Manpower Commission and the National Training Board in particular that it is essential for provision to be made for representation by the National Training Board on this important South African Council for Education. I need not elaborate on this. We see that as far as school education is concerned, differentiation already exists and that there is increasing emphasis on training in technical fields. This must eventually lead to vocational training and other technical forms of training. I cannot see how there can be any objection to the National Training Council being represented on the council which is to be established.
My second amendment actually consists of two parts. In the first place I am moving that paragraph (d) be deleted. I do not think that this is subject to the ruling that my amendment is not acceptable. In paragraph (d) of the Bill it is provided that the executive officer of the council is appointed by the Minister and will serve as an officer of the council. One would expect this officer to be in the service of the council, as is normally the case with an executive officer, and that he would not be a member of the council as is provided in the Bill at the moment. The hon member for Pinetown will therefore move an amendment on clause 10 that an executive officer appointed by the council will be responsible for the executive and administrative activities of the council. This seems to me to be necessary, because there must after all be a certain relationship between the council and the executive officer so that the council can confront that officer if necessary with regard to the performing of his functions. This is, however, difficult if that executive officer is serving on the council as is provided in the Bill at the moment. I therefore feel that in this connection it would be better if we were to provide that the executive officer and the secretariat of the council shall be appointed by the council.
As far as the second part of my second amendment is concerned, I just want to say that we discussed this matter during the Second Reading debate. We referred at that stage to co-ordination with the departments of education of the national states, something which we realize is very essential. Of the 3 800 000 children at school, more than 2 100 000 of them are attending schools in the national states. Since we are now dealing with the creation of a co-ordinated policy which will apply to all education bodies and in which we should like to cause the national states to participate, we cannot accept this policy without making specific provision for structural co-ordination between the bodies created by this Bill and the national states. It is on that basis that I moved the amendment you ruled out of order, namely that provision be made for representation on this council of each of the national states and that these representatives should be appointed by the Chief Ministers of such states. Although you have ruled this out of order, I nevertheless want to appeal to the hon the Minister to consider making provision in some or other way, even if it is pro forma, and not necessarily within the framework of the Bill, for this direct liaison between the national states and the education body that is being created here.
Mr Chairman, regarding the first amendment of the hon member Prof Olivier, let me say that we have nothing against the National Training Board or against one of its representatives being included. However, it is like being at a function and then attempting to thank those who made it possible. If one then omits the names of some people, they may feel offended and then one has undone all the good one intended to do by mentioning certain people or organizations by name. For that reason we believe one should not here use the rule of exception by identifying the National Training Board as such and moving a specific amendment to ensure their representation only. There are other deserving organizations, as I mentioned in my Second Reading speech, whose members we would also like to see represented on this council. For that reason we do not think we should highlight a specific organization. However, should the hon the Minister in his wisdom decide, as I am sure he will, that the National Training Board is a deserving organization which can make a contribution to education, I am sure he will entertain the possibility. However, it is wrong, I believe, specifically in the legislation before us to include the name of one organization only, although we would like to see their representatives on the council.
As regards the hon member’s second amendment, you allowed him to speak about it, Sir, although the amendment was not allowed. As I said the other day, one gets all this co-operation from the PFP and then one thinks they have actually changed their stance, while in fact they have only changed their strategy. Their bottom line is still the same, namely a unitary system and a unitary education department. I want to say that the merits of the case the hon member put are only acceptable if one accepts a unitary system of education in South Africa. I want to warn the hon the Minister that, should the House decide to go back to clause 2, “dit is waar hulle ons gaan vang met ’n slap riem”. I referred to that before. These things are all interlinked and one can clearly see what the PFP’s strategy is. If one were to accept the amendment of the hon member for Bryanston to clause 2, then consequentially one would have to accept this amendment of the hon member Prof Olivier had the amendment been allowed.
They have nothing to do with each other.
There are going to be Blacks on the council.
Yes, of course there are.
Order! Hon members should not argue about an amendment now which was not even allowed.
Sir, those hon members are pretty persistent people and they will do what Churchill said about another party I may not mention here, viz they will rattle every door and shake every window until they get inside the house. Churchill said that about a group of people who I may not identify because to do so would be unparliamentary. The strategy of the PFP is absolutely identical. They will test every crack and crevice in this Bill to introduce an amendment which will facilitate the introduction of a unitary educational system, which we are against. Therefore, although the amendment of the hon member Prof Olivier was not allowed—and I agree with that—what he enunciated here in principle is unacceptable to us. I want to warn the hon the Minister: “Moenie in daardie slagyster trap nie”. It is very dangerous.
Mr Chairman, I just want to revert to my second amendment. I pointed out—unfortunately you were occupied with other important matters—that the first part of that amendment viz the deletion of paragraph (d), was, in my opinion, perfectly in order. Mr Chairman, consequently in the light of your ruling, I now move the following amendment:
- 5. On page 7, from line 17, to omit paragraph (d).
It seems to me that this will not be in conflict with your ruling, Mr Chairman. I have already motivated why I regard this as being essential, so I shall leave the matter at that.
†Mr Chairman, I wish to state to the hon member for Durban North—and I say this quite without malice—that I find it more and more difficult to understand his conduct in this House. As one of my hon colleagues has already pointed out, there will be Blacks on this council. That has nothing to do with a unitary system of education at all. It is a simple fact—and I have already indicated it— that of the total number of 3 800 000 Black children in schools in South Africa more than 2 100 000 are attending schools in the national states. How one can possibly object to a structural co-ordination in order that the principles enunciated in this Bill could also be made applicable to the schools, the pupils and the educational systems in general in the national states, is quite beyond me. Also without any malice, Mr Chairman, I want to point out that the hon member for Durban North reminds me sometimes of what has been said of a certain other person, namely that he has a mind conceived and born in suspicion and frustration and fed throughout its life upon inconsistencies and confusion, resulting eventually in a state of total schizophrenic confusion and illogicalities. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 4. On page 7, after line 19, to insert:
- (2) The council shall elect a chairman from amongst its own members.
The main concern which we in this party have in respect of the SA Council for Education is that it should be a body which should have credibility and status, and which should be seen from all points of view to be a very effective body in the educational field in South Africa. I think it goes without saying that the success of the new education policy and the new education procedure in accomplishing the objectives of providing education with equal opportunities and education of a high standard for all the people of our country, will to a large extent depend on the effectiveness of the advice given by the SA Council for Education.
In order to make that body effective in its task it is important that it should be seen to have credibility. It is also important that it should be seen to be independent of the Government. It should not be seen to be part of the bureaucracy of the Government. It should also not be seen to be a tool of the Minister. It should, however, be seen to be independent and truly representative of all the organizations and all the groups that have a direct and vital interest in education in South Africa.
From that point of view, Mr Chairman, we should like to suggest that there are certain things that should be done. In the first instance I believe that the representatives on that council should be the nominees of the organizations which have a vital interest in education rather that that they should be appointed by the Minister. We have indeed considered moving an amendment listing a large number of organizations, which, we feel, would have a vital interest in education in South Africa. In this regard I can only refer to one mentioned by the hon member Prof Olivier in connection with the National Training Board. Then there are also numerous other organizations, such as the CSIR and others, which, we believe, have a vital interest in education in South Africa. We wanted to list them all. The problem is, however, where to begin and where to end with such a listing. As the hon member for Durban North has also indicated that is a definite difficulty. Nevertheless, we should want to encourage the hon the Minister to try to reach the point where these people will be seen to be representatives of the organizations and not seen to be people specifically selected by the Minister for whatever reasons. In this way their creditibility will be above suspicion
My particular amendment provides that the chairman should be elected by the council and not be nominated by the Minister. Specifically in order to achieve the objective that that body should have that credibility and independence, I say let them elect their own chairman. If the chairman is appointed by the Minister the accusation will be made—it is predictable—that he is a person carefully selected by the Minister who will think like he does and in fact be prepared to carry out the Minister’s requirements and wishes in this situation. This is not the sort of image that one would want to have for this council.
I should just like to make one further remark in regard to the necessity for having representatives of the national States on this council. People are going to have to work and communicate with one another in one economy. Whether children are to be educated in South Africa or in the national States or in effect even in the independent States, virtually all these people will be employed in one way or the other in an economy which is either a single economy or a number of closely interdependent economies. In terms of the interests of the people, the societies and the economies concerned, it is essential that systems of education and systems and methods of training and qualifications should be standardized. They should have the same practical value. Therefore, in order to achieve this situation where the educational systems, training systems and qualifications are in conformity with the same norms and standards, it is vital that people representative of the various components within that society should be represented at the place at which policy is formulated namely the South African Council for Education.
We are trying to assist the hon the Minister and the Government in this regard— although they may not believe it—to produce legislation that will give effect to the objectives that have been set out in the White Paper and which will in fact bring about real improvement in the educational structure throughout the country.
Mr Chairman, as far as the amendment of the hon member for Bryanston is concerned, the same argument applies as applied in regard to the amendment of the hon member for Pinetown namely that we will not be able to support it.
At this juncture I should like to say in response to the hon member Prof Olivier that we are confused on this side. Whenever we deal with the PFP and its policy we get more confused by the day. I should like to ask the hon member directly whether his party’s policy for education in South Africa is a unitary educational system or not. [Interjections.] You see, Sir, we have to judge their amendments in terms of their objectives and, if their amendments are not consistent with their policy, then they have a problem. I think that one of those hon members should get up and tell us what the policy of that party is so that we may no longer be confused. [Interjections.] From all the documents that I have read and from all the statements by those hon members, I understand that they are in favour of one integrated unitary educational system in South Africa. Does the hon member Prof Olivier confirm or deny that? He has the opportunity to do so now.
Mr Chairman, I cannot help having a very warm feeling inside when the chief spokesman of the official Opposition so staunchly champions the interests of the self-governing national States. It seems to me as if hon members of the official Opposition are now beginning to have some insight into the significance of the policy of separate development for the black peoples by way of their own self-governing and eventually independent national States. Although you have ruled this matter out of order, Sir, we are nevertheless grateful to be able to take note here of the fact that they are also, to a certain degree, taking a step in the right direction as far as this is concerned. That is good progress, and we shall be keeping an eye on it when the next national State takes its turn at becoming independent.
I want to repeat what I said in the Second Reading debate, and that is that the Government accepts the necessity for consultation with both the self-governing national States and the independent neighbouring states to obtain the greatest possible degree of liaison and consultation—it will also have to be properly structured—in order to accommodate, in our education system, the realities of our situation in life in which job opportunities, employment opportunities and professional opportunities extend beyond state borders.
The Committee is also aware of the fact that by way of their constitutional legislation, the self-governing national States are specifically empowered to exercise self-determination in regard to their own education. Consequently we shall not be submitting any legislation here prior to having held proper negotiations with them about structures for consultation in which they can share.
With regard to the amendments of the hon members for Pinetown and Bryanston in connection with the chairmanship of the council, I want to endorse what the hon member for Durban North said. There is, as far as I know, no ministerial advisory body whose chairman is not appointed by the responsible Minister, the Government or the State President. I do not think there are any precedents deviating from this course. In fact, even such highly autonomous, independent bodies such as the Medical Research Council, the Human Sciences Research Council and the Scientific and Industrial Research Council, which cannot be regarded as ministerial or governmental advisory bodies, are bodies whose chairmen are appointed by the relevant Minister. What is more—and this, then, is also a reply in regard to the second amendment of the hon member Prof Olivier—in the cases I have just mentioned, the chairman is also the chief executive officer of the relevant council. In those cases— they are bodies in which objectivity and independence are of the utmost importance— the chief executive officer is therefore not only a member of the council, but also the chairman of the council.
I think that the objectives and endeavours, which the hon member for Bryanston so eloquently put forward, are aspects the Government and the Committee can surely agree with, ie that it cannot but add to the council’s lustre to really have members of stature serving on it, people who are held in esteem and who are not regarded as mere rubber stamps of whatever authorities. That is why the responsible Minister, and the other Ministers consulted by him, will certainly exercise the utmost circumspection when constituting the council. I do not, however, think that we shall be able to deviate from the established principle of having ministerial advisory bodies and chairmen nominated by the responsible Minister. I can therefore unfortunately not accept amendments No 1 and 4.
The hon member for Durban North also made a very good comment on amendment No 2. Actually the hon member for Bryanston or the hon member Prof Olivier—I cannot remember which of the two it was— also pointed out that one could draw up a tremendously long list—the officials Opposition do, in fact, prefers to have done so—of all the interested bodies that could be represented on it. If one were to begin enumerating specific bodies, there is no knowing where one would end. I do want to agree with the hon member Prof Olivier, however that the chairman or a prominent member of the National Training Board should be given very high priority consideration, and will be given such consideration, when the board is constituted. That is a very relevant linkage point mentioned by him and will be very carefully borne in mind, but I am not prepared to include it as a specific provision in this legislation, because we would then have to include many other bodies too.
†In fact, I should like to plead that hon members must be very careful in their formulation and in their choice of words in this regard. We must be very careful not to speak of representatives of organizations in this council. This council must consist of people who through their status and their knowledge in the field of education or also their status and knowledge outside the field of education—here I am thinking of people who from a financial point of view, from the general employment point of view or from an economic and development point of view can judge educational matters in an objective and penetrating way—should be brought into this council. I want to plead with hon members that we must be very careful not to work along the lines of representatives of organizations. We will then have the professional teachers’ organizations, the Federated Chamber of Industries and other organizations coming along to plead their specific interests. I would like to see this as a council which consists of people who put the interests of education first and foremost. Therefore, although I have great admiration for the lofty ideals which the hon member for Bryanston has expressed, I would like to utter a word of caution about the concept of representatives of organizations. We cannot tabulate a list of institutions to be represented. The idea of inviting interested parties to submit names is quite an attractive concept, and I am sure it will be taken into consideration by the responsible Minister when he deals with this matter.
*I have already dealt with amendment 3, which is printed in the name of the hon member Prof Olivier on the Order Paper. As set out in the White Paper, we do not believe that here we should allow a separate bureaucracy and a separate administrative structure to develop around this council, but that its administrative and professional work can best be done by persons who are designated by the responsible departments and can then do the work for the council in that way. In the past this aspect has led to a difference of opinion when, in terms of the report of the Van Wyk De Vries Commission, an advisory council on university matters was instituted for the Minister. The commission also advocated an independent staff structure, but the Government decided that it should be dealt with in the way now being proposed here. It worked very well, and on the basis of our experience in that regard, we do not think there is any reason to deviate from that course. Therefore I am not prepared to accept the first part of amendment 3, as moved by the hon member Prof Olivier, either.
I think I have hereby dealt with all the amendments, and as I have said, not one of them do I find acceptable.
Mr Chairman, I would like to ask the hon the Minister a very short and direct question. Does the hon the Minister understand that according to clause 3(b) and (c), individuals can be appointed who are themselves members of and residents in the national states?
Mr Chairman, I think that for the persons put forward by the organized teaching profession to be acceptable they will have to be involved in the profession in one of the departments this legislation is dealing with. In other words, people who are primarily in the employ of a department of the of the national States will not fall within this context. I do not think that that accords with the spirit of the Bill, nor do I think it falls within the framework of the Bill.
Mr Chairman, I find it regrettable that the hon the Minister has given an answer of that kind. I suppose this is a matter to which he has not given calm consideration beforehand.
I did not go into the political aspects of the recognition or otherwise of the national states as political entities in the amendment I moved. I merely made an appeal based on the fact that in this respect we should, in a matter of fact way, accept the situation that the largest number of Black children will fall under the education departments of the national states. I am aware that education is one of the matters which have been transferred to the national states and that it now falls within the jurisdiction of those states. This fact in itself emphasizes the need for co-ordination, that is, if we are really in earnest as regards the policy we wish to implement for South Africa, the fruits of which we should like to be reaped by all South Africans. The people in the national states are and remain South Africans. In that sense I find it regrettable that the hon the Minister not only rejected the principle of my amendment, but went further and said that it was unlikely that a knowledgeable person from an education department of the national states would be considered for appointment to this body. I find this regrettable indeed, because I think the hon the Minister is closing doors which he should have kept open, and is at the same creating an attitude which could have a less than favourable effect in the national states. I want to express my regret on that score.
†I want to make one last remark about the question posed by the hon member for Durban North. He claims that he knows the policy of the PFP.
I said I was confused by it.
Well, it seems it does not take much to confuse the hon member. [Interjections.] He knows that the PFP stands for a federal policy based on a maximum degree of devolution and decentralization. What we are not prepared to compromise on and for which there is no room in our policy is the question of discrimination and differentiation on the basis of race or colour. That is the fundamental difference between us and the NRP. The NRP does not know where it is going. It does not have a clear-cut policy. It compromises whenever it suits it. [Interjections.]
Rather tell us more about your policy.
The hon member for Durban North felt compelled to ask me what our policy was because he was confused. Now that I am trying to enlighten him I am told not do so do. [Interjections.] I would advise the hon member for Durban North, if he is interested, to make a study of our policy, and then we can debate it across the floor of the House.
Mr Chairman, to start with I want to say that it would again be very interesting to hear what the policy of the PFP is in connection with education. I am not saying this reproachfully, but the discussion in this House will in any event, when all is said and done, revolve around our two standpoints. The little I have heard today was interesting, but this is for a later debate.
I can understand the amendment moved by the hon member Prof Olivier. If we consider the entire Southern African situation, we also see the greater community of interests, if I could put it that way, which exists in the economic sphere. It is, moreover, the Government’s wish that education should be such that we have maximum economic growth and growth in other spheres in South Africa. I appreciate the fact that because the vast majority of the overall South African community consists of Black people who have to be included in this, a specific formula will have to be found with regard to consultation and co-ordination. I want to tell the hon the Minister in all friendliness that what I cannot understand is the Government’s willingness to consult, via other channels, Black people in their respective ethnic context—I think they would very much like to do so. Nor is it our standpoint that one lives in such an isolated community that no mutual contact need take place. The Government is prepared, however, as far as the Black people are concerned, to consult them in connection with education. After this debate the hon the Minister will be known as the Minister who was tripped up on the question of “integrated” or “mixed”. [Interjections.]
Order! We have only reached Clause 3. It sounds as if the hon member is already speaking in the Third Reading debate.
Sir, I shall be very brief. What I cannot understand is that as far as such a council is concerned the hon the Minister wants other structures for consultation with the Black people, and is even prepared to do so with QwaQwa. When we entered these principles, however, pointing out the differences between Coloureds, Indians and Whites, the hon the Minister digs in his heels. Then these three population groups must have a joint Minister and a joint South African Council for Education. That is something about him that I cannot understand. If the hon the Minister would just clarify this point for us, there would be a great deal of clarity in the debate and in the discussion we are conducting on these matters.
Mr Chairman, I should just like to follow up on the reply the hon the Minister gave to my question regarding the position of members of national states in terms of clause 3(b) and (c). I want to refer particularly to paragraph (b) because I have a distinct problem regarding members representative of the organized teaching profession. It seems to me that the hon the Minister should not at this time make a categoric statement in this regard but should consult the hon the Minister of Education and Training in regard to his approach to the representatives of the African Teachers’ Association. When that Minister sees the representatives of the African Teachers’ Association he does not distinguish between representatives who reside and work in national states and those who reside and work in the Republic of South Africa. The present situation in the African Teachers’ Association that the hon the Minister of Education and Training is seeing, is that the vice chairman of that body is a resident of kwaZulu. I therefore believe that it will do grievous harm to this Bill if the hon the Minister were to adopt the stance of saying to the African Teachers’ Association that he will certainly not accept representatives from national states. It would create the same kind of problems that have emerged in other professions. In this regard I believe that the hon the Minister should adopt what may be seen to be a wait and see position. I certainly believe that it is possible that the African Teachers’ Association, among others, may send representatives from the national states to serve on the SA Council for Education.
Mr Chairman, I certainly did not intend to make a categoric statement, and I think I put it in a rather tentative way. However, I think the hon member must also accept that the primary function of an organized teaching profession as far as the Blacks are concerned in terms of this set-up, in view of the fact that the self-governing national states have full self-determination over their educational affairs, is to have on the council a representative of the professional organization of the Blacks living outside the national states within the Republic of South Africa. I think that will be the primary need that will have to be met. At the same time, however, I should once again like to give hon members the assurance that we consider it a very high priority to negotiate with the authorities of the self-governing national states and, as I added, with independent neighbouring states to set up structures in order to ensure the maximum possible consensus, agreement and joint consultation from the grass roots level, from the start, on these matters. We do not want simply to confront people with a fait accompli and with a policy that has already been fully baked, as it were. This is the spirit in which the matter will be approached.
*The hon member for Rissik asked me why I was adopting a different attitude in respect of the Black peoples to that adopted by me in respect of the Coloureds and the Indians. I must point out to him that the physical and social position of the Coloureds and the Indians in South Africa is such that there is no reasonable possibility of establishing a separate geographic political base of their own from where they can participate in the political process with the same right to self-determination as that of the Black peoples in the self-governing national states. The CP and the NP differ very clearly on that score, and the matter was thrashed out in debates in this House last year. It was also thrashed out during the referendum campaign, and I do not believe that there can be any doubt as to what the opinion of the vast majority of the voters in South Africa is as far as this matter is concerned. This is a very simple reply to that question, and I hope the hon member will accept it as such.
Amendment 1 negatived and amendment 4 dropped (Official Opposition dissenting).
Amendment 2 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Amendment 5 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Clause agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 1. On page 7, in line 26, to omit “(a), (b), (c) and (d)”.
This is a purely technical matter, because since all the paragraphs of the subsection are included, it is unnecessary to list them separately.
Mr Chairman, I do not wish to discuss the amendment now, but I would like to put a question or two to the hon the Minister.
In clause 2 it is provided that the power of the Minister concerns norms and standards laid down for various matters. In reply to a question by the hon member for Rissik the hon the Minister said that the Minister referred to here may make contributions to the contents of the policy. On what basis is it now being provided in clause 4 that this SA Council for Education must advise the Minister entrusted with general education affairs on formal, informal and non-formal education, including teacher training? According to the earlier arguments of the hon the Minister regarding the powers of this Minister, surely these matters should actually be dealt with by the Ministers in charge of own education affairs. It would make more sense to me if the SA Council for Education, which is appointed by the Minister, were to advise the Ministers of the subdepartments on matters such as formal, informal and non-formal education, and not the co-ordinating Minister, although this Minister does not really like him to be called that.
Clause 4(b) provides that this SA Council for Education will advise the Ministers of departments of State responsible for educationon spheres of co-operation. Is that as far as their advice to such a Minister goes? Would it not make more sense for the council to advise this specific Minister over a far wider area, for example on the matters he has the right to deal with himself?
I should like the hon the Minister to clear up these two matters for me.
Mr Chairman, I take pleasure in replying to the two questions by the hon member for Koedoespoort.
I think that the first question arises out of the same misunderstanding that gave rise to much of what the hon member said during the Second Reading debate. This advice does not concern formal, informal and non-formal education as a whole, including teacher training, but only the matters contemplated in clause 2(1).
That is not stated here.
Yes, it is stated here. Clause 4(a) reads as follows:
The advice that this council can furnish is therefore limited to the four matters relating to general affairs in the field of formal, non-formal and informal education, and nothing more than that. That council cannot advise the Minister responsible for general affairs on, for example, philosophical matters or the way in which a specific department conducts its policy in connection with the approval of textbooks in the implementation of syllabuses, because those are own affairs. The moment either the Minister responsible for general education affairs, or this council, seeks to act in this regard, they will be exceeding their constitutional power.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister: What, then, about the phrase “including teacher training”?
The question of norms and standards is also relevant in teacher training, for example in the field of finance. Moreover, there are the issues of conditions of employment, salaries, registration, examination standards and qualifications. Therefore it is only necessary to ensure that certain minimum standards are set in respect of the total spectrum of education.
I think that the hon member for Koedoespoort and I understand one another a great deal better with reference to this question he formulated. Therefore I want to ask him to see this matter in the light of the fact that this is not a question of a blanket power enabling the Minister responsible for general education affairs to formulate general policy relating to formal, informal and non-formal education as a whole, including teacher training. It only concerns the four aspects, viz the financial aspect, staff affairs, examination affairs and certification affairs. If either the Minister responsible for general education affairs or the council go beyond that sphere they will be exceeding the powers granted in paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 of the Constitution.
That is, in part, the reply to the second question as well. With reference to paragraph (b) of clause 4, the hon member asked why the other Ministers, that is to say, the Ministers of Departments of State responsible for education, viz the own affairs Ministers as well as the Minister responsible for the education and training of Blacks, cannot also be advised over a far wider spectrum. The reason is simply that if this council were to do so, it would be exceeding its power, since this council has been established to advise the Minister responsible for general education affairs in respect of general education policy only. If it goes beyond that it will be exceeding its power. This council, which is representative of various population groups, would then be interfering in the own affairs of specific education departments. Indeed, I want to remind the hon member that it is expressly stated in the White Paper that the Government is of the opinion that, just as the Whites have for many years had their own policy advisory body for White education, it may also be desirable for other population groups to give consideration in their decision-making bodies to establishing their own policy advisory bodies for their own education affairs, just as this council is a policy advisory body on general education affairs. Such a body would then be able to advise the relevant Minister on aspects relating to own affairs. However, if this board goes further than merely giving advice on co-operation—and co-operation is an issue which the relevant Minister responsible for own affairs can accept or not—then it will be exceeding its power and in our opinion will be in conflict with the entire constitutional structure as set out, in which a clear distinction is drawn between education as an overwhelmingly own affair and the limited aspects relating to general education affairs in respect of the three spheres involved. The hon member does not want to accept that education is overwhelmingly an own affair, but that is the fact of the matter. He is simply tring to disparage it.
Amendment 1 agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Clause 5 agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Clause 6 agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 1. On page 7, from line 55, to omit subsection (2) and to substitute:
- (2) The council or committee shall appoint a person from the organized teaching profession as a member of every committee or subcommittee, as the case may be, contemplated in subsection (1).
Hon members opposite have pointed out to us that subsection (2) has been somewhat ambiguously formulated. It is categorically stipulated that a person from the teaching profession is a member of the committee. However, it is not specified how such a person becomes a member of the committee. In fact, therefore, provision ought to be made in the legislation for a directive in terms of which a person can become a member of the committee. I believe that the amendment I have now moved, clearly specifies what has to be done and how it should be done. I therefore hope that this will solve the problem.
Mr Chairman, I just want to point out briefly once again that the more one looks at this legislation—from clause 1 right through to the end—the clearer it becomes that the new education policy of the Government will be an integrated and mixed policy.
Oh no, are you discussing that again?
Yes, and I shall carry on doing so throughout the next decade if necessary. In any event, this has been the subject of discussion in this country for the past three centuries. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister need not sit there in his bench looking so self-satisfied, Mr Chairman. He is really looking very satisfied with himself. However, we shall see what the position will be in five years’ time. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, all I want to say is that the degree of mixing or integration in the education of the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians is becoming increasingly evident as we discuss the various clauses of this legislation in the Committee Stage. As in the case of the previous clauses, we shall vote against this clause as well.
Amendment 1 agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, very briefly in connection with clause 8, and also in line with our previous representations asking for the SA Council for Education to be seen as a prestigous body, I want to state that we believe it would be advisable if both this body and the Committee of Heads of Education were to be required to produce annual reports relating to their investigations, their activities and their recommendations, and that those reports should be made available to Parliament. Those reports should also be made available to the public so that the country as a whole, and all bodies connected with or interested in education could study the contents of these reports and become aware of the activities of these bodies. This would obviously contribute to the advancement of education as a whole.
Mr Chairman, I therefore move the following amendment:
- 1. On page 9, after line 13 to insert:
- (5) The council and the committee shall each in each year submit to the Minister a report on their activities during the preceding year.
- (6) The Minister shall lay copies of every such report on the Table of Parliament within fourteen days after receipt thereof if Parliament is then in ordinary session, or, if Parliament is not then in ordinary session, within 14 days after the commencement of its next ensuing ordinary session.
Mr Chairman, as I intimated in my reply to the Second Reading debate, I take pleasure in accepting this amendment moved by the hon member for Bryanston. By means of this amendment he is making a very useful contribution to the effectiveness of the measure. There are various important statutory bodies in education that report annually to Parliament in the same way as is proposed here. The fact that this has not already been included in the legislation is in fact an oversight. I am therefore grateful to the hon member for Bryanston and the hon member Prof Olivier for having raised the matter here. I take pleasure in accepting the amendment moved by the hon member for Bryanston.
Amendment 1 agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Clause 9 agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, I move the amendment to this clause printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
- 1. On page 9, in line 28, to omit “and” and to substitute:
The provision “shall be performed by an executive officer” has obviously fallen away as a result of a previous decision under clause 3 of this Bill. However, the provision regarding the secretariat still remains, and it is this proposal that I wish to motivate.
The hon the Minister has advanced arguments as to why he believes it is important that this should be vested in the ministry of general education. As I intimated during the Second Reading debate, I believe that there will be times when this South African Council for Education is going to be at variance with the general ministry of education. There are going to be times when in the execution of its duties and functions as set out in this Bill it may need to advise that the department of general education needs to be doing things in a different way or may be at variance with the department in regard to certain actions it has taken. I believe, therefore, that it is very important that the secretariat should remain an independent body.
Order! I regret to inform the hon member that I am unable to accept his amendment as it is inconsistent with a previous decision of the Committee.
Clause agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, I just want to say that I think that this legislation ought to be called the Abdication of National Education Act. [Interjections.]
Clause agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Order! The Chairman reports the Bill with amendments.
Mr Speaker, I move without notice:
House in Committee:
Order! I move clause 2, as amended.
Mr Chairman, I should like to move a further amendment with reference to the debate that took place on clause 1, during which the hon member for Bryanston proposed a special definition of “education”, to make it clear that this concerns the general policy in respect of education for all population groups in the country. Although personally I am not of the opinion that this is technically necessary, because general policy does, in terms of the constitution, mean policy applicable to all, I am prepared to accept such an amendment in a different form in respect of clause 2. I therefore move the following amendment:
Mr Chairman, I just want to say that the principal objection that we have to the PFP’s moving an amendment in respect of all population groups similar to that moved by the hon the Minister, is the context within which that amendment is moved. [Interjections.] When an hon member of the official Opposition gets up and says that there should be equality of opportunity for all South African citizens, then that statement must be seen in the particular context of the policy of that party as it has been enunciated by them. When the CP and the NP do the same thing then obviously one has to interpret the particular statement within the context of their total policy. Let me say that despite the shortcomings which there still are in the view of the Government on educational opportunities in South Africa, I would rather accept the amendment of the hon the Minister in the context of his policy than that of the hon member for Bryanston. I want to say very clearly why that is so. As the hon member Prof Olivier told us earlier today—I want to thank him for his answer although it was not as clear as it should be but at least it was clearer than it had been before—the educational policy of the PFP is one of geographic federation and therefore equal access for all members of all population groups to one unitary educational facility.
Order! Is the hon member now discussing clause 2?
Yes, Sir, because the amendment contains the words “for all population groups”.
The hon member may proceed.
In the context of the policy of the PFP that means that in fact all population groups should have equal access to the same institutions including preprimary, primary and secondary schools. In the context of the policy of the Government, however, the words “all population groups” mean equality of the application of norms and standards, and the advice which will be given in respect of those, will be applicable to all population groups and under those circumstances we are prepared to support the amendment of the hon the Minister but not that which was going to be proposed by the hon member.
Mr Chairman, firstly I should like to thank the hon the Minister for assisting me to get this amendment into the Bill.
The hon member for Durban North is, politically speaking, flying around in ever-decreasing circles and he will land up in great darkness very soon. [Interjections.] The hon member as well as the hon member for Rissik asked what the PFP’s policy was with regard to education for the various population groups and for all the peoples of South Africa. I would have thought that that hon member would have made the effort to inform himself about PFP policy, that he would attempt to understand it before he opens his mouth.
But it is always changing.
No it is not always changing. The PFP has an education policy which was accepted some eight years ago and it has been published on numerous occasions. It has been propagated and we have fought and won elections on that policy. I refer to the recent election in Pinetown as an example. In fact, we could have saved the Government a great deal of time and money. In fact the entire De Lange effort and report could have been saved if we had just sent the Government one page setting out our policy. If one reads the basic principles of our policy and one compares them with the De Lange report, one finds that certainly in essence and principle there is very little difference. As far as detail is concerned there obviously are differences. I cannot go through it all but I should like to read three of the fundamental principles. The first one is: “To advance the education …”
Order! Only clause 2 is now under discussion, but the hon member is reopening the whole debate again. I really think the hon member is abusing the lenience shown to him.
Sir, I shall restrict myself to the provisions of clause 2, which deal with education for all the population groups in the Republic. Sir, if you would look at the amendment which was accepted you would notice that the amendment reads …
Order! The hon member may proceed, but he should not digress too far.
Mr Chairman, I would never think of going beyond the scope of the clause.
The amendment is aimed at providing education to all the population groups in the Republic of South Africa, and that is a very, very wide provision. Obviously the intention of the whole Bill is to provide education to all the population groups of South Africa and not only to two or three of the population groups, but to all population groups. I should like to read those three principles because they specifically deal with that:
That is absolutely clear. It would take an incredible nincompoop not to be able to understand the provisions of this particular policy. I know the hon member for Durban North aspires to that qualification.
In conclusion, I want to thank the hon the Minister for effecting this amendment. I believe it makes it clear beyond any shadow of doubt that the education policy, the principles, which this Bill sets out for education in South Africa is for the education of all the people in South Africa and all the children of all the population groups in South Africa, and that there is no exception to this provision.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Bill, as amended, reported.
Mr Chairman, I should like to move an amendment to this clause with reference to the reservations expressed yesterday by the hon member Prof Olivier. The hon member also has an amendment on this clause, but I have already submitted an amendment to the secretariat and I shall be moving it in due course.
The hon member pointed out that the consolidating provision inserted by clause 4 of the Bill in the form of a new section 10A may cause misunderstanding, due to the definition of university in clause 1. In clause 1, under “university”, a university established by Act of Parliament for Black people is excluded, except in certain specific cases. The hon member expressed his concern about the fact that in the proposed new section 10(a) the power given to a senate to accord status to graduates of other universities, or to admit them to postgraduate study, could be interpreted to mean that this would exclude students from universities within the Republic of South Africa established for Black people by Act of Parliament. I put it to the hon member that that was certainly not the intention. I also said that in my opinion, the text of the legislation, particularly the English text, which reads “any other university, whether in the Republic or elsewhere”, clearly indicates that “other universities” in that sense do not fall within the limiting definition of the word in clause 1. However, I discussed the matter with the law advisers and we reached the same conclusion as the hon member Prof Olivier, viz that the matter could best be solved by effecting an appropriate amendment to clause 1, and for that reason I now move the following amendment:
- 2. On page 3, in line 14, after “7(b),” to insert “10A,”.
This amendment will mean that it will be placed beyond all doubt that the proposed new section 10A refers to all universities, including universities established for Blacks within the Republic by Act of Parliament. It is true that this gives rise to a somewhat uncomfortable situation in the senee that the enabling provision, the proposed new section 10A, now also authorizes universities established for Blacks by Act of Parliament to grant this recognition, and not only to receive it, whereas that authorization is already embodied in their own university Acts and in the general Act on education and training for universities. In fact, therefore, they now have a double authorization. After consultation with the hon the Minister of Education and Training, we decided that we would do this nevertheless because, as the hon member Prof Olivier rightly said, we want to have no misunderstanding and we certainly do not want to create the impression that the recognition of academic qualifications of universities for Blacks within the Republic of South Africa is being called into question in any way. It is for that reason that I moved the amendment.
Mr Chairman, I rise merely to convey my appreciation to the hon the Minister for having eliminated any possible doubt by way of this amendment. We support the amendment. Accordingly, I shall not move my amendment to this clause.
Amendment 2 agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Mr Chairman, I move as an amendment:
- 1. On page 5, in line 1, to omit “a member nominated from amongst their number by”.
We have already discussed the essence of my amendment during the Second Reading of this Bill. At the time I expressed the opinion that there was no reason to confine the representation of Black universities to one rector. In view of the status enjoyed by those universities, the quality of their work and so on, it is essential that there should be the closest possible liaison between them and the other universities of the country. Because we are specifically making provision in this legislation for, inter alia, the University of Durban-Westville and the University of the Western Cape to move closer to one another and closer to the other universities, it seems only logical that we should take that process further and give the Black universities, too, proper representation on this committee through their rectors. I have already given my motivation for this in the Second Reading. I am aware that in his reply the hon the Minister advanced reasons for his opinion that one representative is sufficient. One of the reasons he advanced was that those universities were faced with problems of a different nature, and that it was accordingly sufficient for them only to be represented by one person on this committee. There is certainly some merit in the hon the Minister’s argument, but the fact remains that as far as the essential functions are concerned there is no difference between Black universities—as universities or university institutions—and the other universities of the country. The fact that they may have a character of their own—to use the words of the hon member for Virginia—so that one could regard them as ethnic universities, is not really correct, because that certainly does not apply to the University of the North, but with a view to the communality of the function and the task that these universities have to perform, viz to qualify students to duly carry out their task in society, whatever that task maybe, I am unable to find any logical reason, in spite of what the hon the Minister said in the course of his reply, why we cannot give the rectors of the Black universities full membership of the committee.
Mr Chairman, as the hon member Prof Olivier has said, in my reply to the Second Reading debate I went into this matter and indicated why the provision was contained in the Bill and why the hon member’s amendment was unacceptable. The fact is that the various universities for Black people have specific characteristic university interests. These are interests relating particularly to their specific form of administration, differing from that of the autonomous universities. These interests also revolve around their specific methods of financing, which also differ from those of the autonomous universities, although the universities for Black people have thus far made considerable progress towards eventually being able to obtain the same administrative and financing structures as the autonomous universities. In fact, in the foreseeable future those universities will themselves probably become autonomous.
Some of those universities are also situated within the territories of self-governing national States, and although they are administered by the Department of Education and Training, and not by the education departments of the self-governing national States, in this respect there are also specific relations at issue which, to a certain extent, need to be handled differently. Hence the necessity for granting statutory recognition, and in a Bill which is still to be submitted to the House by the Minister of Education and Training, it is proposed that a committee of university rectors of the universities instituted for Blacks be established. By having rectors of the universities for Blacks represented on the CUP, they will now be obtaining, for liaison purposes, a representative of full-fledged status between the one committee and the other.
I acknowledge the hon member Prof Olivier to be right about there being a considerable number of common interests between the autonomous universities and those which are not yet autonomous, ie those universities which are sometimes also called the State universities. For that reason we feel that this link-up with full authority is necessary. The Committee of University Principals will advise the relevant Ministers, and in future to the Minister responsible for general education affairs, the advice chiefly being advice on financial matters, but financial matters in accordance to that for the Black universities with another financing system, involving both capital and current financing. That is why the Government, and in particular the Minister of Education and Training, are of the opinion that it would be incorrect for all the rectors of those universities that have other financial and administrative interests were to obtain a joint say, at this stage, in the advice given by the Committee of University Principals in regard to the autonomous universities. In our opinion it is therefore the proper form of representation. This does, of course, allow the CUP complete freedom to hold conferences or symposiums about matters not involving finance or university administration, for example matters in connection with university instruction or university research methodology, conferences or symposiums to which they can invite not only the universities for Blacks within the RSA, but also representatives of universities in neighbouring countries. When it is a question of these specific administrative matters, however, the arguments I have advanced do apply. It is therefore unfortunate, but I cannot accept the hon member’s amendment.
Amendment 1 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Clause agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Clause 3 agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Clause 4 agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Mr Chairman, I move as an amendment:
- 1. On page 9, in line 26, to omit all the words after “be” to the end of the subsection and to substitute:
What is involved here is the representation of technikons for Blacks on the Committee of Technikon Principals. During the Second Reading debate we referred to this aspect, and I took note of what the hon the Minister said about this in his reply. The hon the Minister’s motivation for the fact that these representatives would be able to attend the meetings and take part in the discussions, but not vote, does not satisfy me at all. The hon the Minister said that at this stage there was only one Black technikon, but that more would probably be established, and that when that happened the old relationship between Black technikons and the Committee of Technikon Principals would be reconsidered. We have just had the situation, however, of the hon the Minister having felt, in regard to Black universities, that one representative of those Black universities, who would serve on the Committee of University Principals, was enough. So if more Black technikons were to be established, I take it that the hon the Minister would make the same formula applicable to them and have one representative to serve on this Committee of Technikon Principals on behalf of the Black technikons. At the moment, however, there is only one Black technikon, but I really cannot see any good reason why its representative cannot be a full member of the Committee of Technikon Principals, just as the one representative of the Black universities is a full-fledged member of the Committee of University Principals. What the hon Minister is going to do when there is more than one technikon, we leave to the future, but at this stage I find it illogical that the hon the Minister does not want to grant full membership to the principal of the one Black technikon that does exist at present.
Mr Chairman, as I did in my reply to the Second Reading debate, I again want to point out that although the terms “autonomy” is also increasingly applicable to technikons, having been applicable to universities for a long time now, the fact of the matter is nevertheless that the autonomy of our technikons has not, in general, developed quite as far as that of the universities. As far as the Committee of Technikon Principals is concerned, one can nevertheless speak of autonomous technikons being linked to it, ie the technikons for Whites, for Coloureds and for Asians. They are technikons which have gone through quite an extensive development phase and which, from both an administrative and a financing point of view, have developed a common characteristic pattern. In the case of the one technikon for Blacks, which does already exist under the control of the Department of Education and Training, not only does it differ from both an administrative and financing point of view from the autonomous technikons, but it also differs from them much more than the State universities differ from the autonomous universities. Moreover, the Department of Education and training is, in regard to these technikons, specifically engaged in a process of negotiating with leading figures in education from the Black communities with a view to giving the whole aspect of students linking up with the technological and industrial culture of our modern society particularly marked attention. The possibility of closer liaison, a different type of liaison, between this technikon for Blacks on the one hand and the technical colleges for Blacks on the other, and also closer liaison between this technikon and the State universities for Blacks, specifically in regard to occupationally orientated training, particularly in the technical fields, is receiving specific attention. This Bill therefore is opening the door and creating the possibility for the rector of that technikon for Blacks to interact with his colleagues from the autonomous technikons. The various Ministers of Education are of the opinion, however, that as far as the advice of the Committee of Technikon Principals is concerned, particularly in regard to the two essential matters of financial subsidizing and the form of administration, a different pattern applies in the case of the autonomous technikons to that in the case of the technikon for Blacks and that it would therefore be wrong, at this stage of development, to summarily give the head of that technikon more full-fledged representation on that committee. As this position develops further, as I said in my Second Reading speech, it is a matter that will certainly be reconsidered. Suitable forms of representation for one or more Black technikons on the Committee of Technikon Principals will again be examined. For these reasons I am not prepared to accept the hon member’s amendment.
Mr Chairman, it goes without saying that I expected that answer from the hon the Minister. I just want to tell him, in all honesty, that I remain unconvinced. The only two reasons the hon the Minister advanced to indicate why the relevant person could not have the right to vote in the Committee involved the difference in autonomy and the difference in the basis of financing of the Black technikons. As far as the question of autonomy is concerned, our standpoint has always been, and still is, that we can see no reason why a Black technikon cannot have the same degree of autonomy as the other technikons. Then there is the question of the various kinds of financing. Let us now be level-headed about this matter. The representatives of the other technikons in the Committee of Technikon Principals are inevitably, as far as finances are concerned, primarily going to look after their own interests. So what possibility is there, in practice, of this single vote in that committee, as far as finances are concerned—let us now forget about all the other aspects—either placing the committee in a difficult position or adversely affecting the advice that that committee could possibly give the Minister? There is, after all, only one vote involved. I feel that the objections the hon the Minister raised do not actually outweigh the fact that here we are now creating a second-class member of that committee. He will always be aware of the second-class character of his membership of that committee. We can understand how it is going to work out in practice. I do not even know how often a vote will be taken. What, in matter-of-fact terms, is the situation going to be, however? When a vote must be taken on a matter, the representative of the Black technikon will be told, will he not, that he must please leave the room or sit to one side because he does not have the right to vote.
Really very nasty.
Yes, here it is really not a question of some or other dogmatic standpoint or whatever, Mr Chairman. Here it is a matter of the actual relationship in that committee between the other members and this second-class member of the committee. The reflection it will cast on that man’s integrity and competence is surely quite apparent. It will not be done by anything the hon the Minister says or by virtue of any specific intention. What I am now speaking of, however, is the actual effect this will have in practice. I therefore cannot understand how either the Committee of Technikon Principals or the hon the Minister could in any way lose out by accepting that Black man as a full-fledged member of that committee. Surely it could, under the circumstances, be done until such time as a different situation develops necessitating the reconsideration of the structural context.
I therefore again appeal to the hon the Minister please to reconsider this proposal.
Mr Chairman, I find it a great pity that the hon member spoke of a second-class representative or a second-class institution. We are dealing here with two separate categories of institutions and their progress in terms of the evolutionary course of development of institutions for higher education.
I never spoke of second-class institutions.
The hon member did speak of a second-class representative.
No. I referred to the second-class position in which that member of the committee would find himself.
Very well, then. Someone who is in a second-class position has second-class representation. I think that is simply the same kind of argument we heard earlier. [Interjections.]
In the Committee of Technikon Principals we have a decision-making body which functionally fits into an autonomous technikon set-up and which, specifically because of their very great measure of autonomy in relation to their education departments, must fulfil the function, on their behalf, of conveying certain standpoints to the relevant Ministers. The technikon for Blacks does not have that autonomy. That technikon is still, to a far greater extent, tied in with its own department. It is therefore still on the evolutionary path towards that degree of autonomy that the other institutions already have. So to speak, at this stage, of a second-rate or second-class position simply does not hold any water. I am sorry those terms were used. I do not think, moreover, that the hon member raised any new arguments to which I have to react.
Amendment 1 negatived (Official Opposition dissenting).
Clause agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Bill, as amended, reported.
Mr Speaker, I move, subject to Standing Order No 56:
Mr Speaker, in spite of the fact that several of our amendments have not been accepted, we adhere to our initial standpoint that this measure is one which, in quite a few respects, does bring about an improvement in the position. Here I am thinking, in particular, of the elimination of diversity in some respects. I just want to confirm the fact that we are supporting the Third Reading of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, as I said yesterday during the Second Reading debate, this Bill contains clauses which we gladly support and which we believe would, if they became law, have an important effect. I want to emphasize, in particular, the question of examination irregularities. The Joint Matriculation Board is now going to be empowered to take action in such cases. The Matriculation Board is therefore going to be given some muscle, if one may use that expression, to ensure effective action against people committing irregularities, and I think that is a very important clause that is being passed.
Another matter which is very important, in my opinion, involves the fact that since we are now giving technikons greater autonomy, they must in consequence be given more powers to carry out certain functions for themselves. I think that is important progress that is being made. I am referring, in particular, to the fact that technikons are now being given an opportunity to handle teacher training. I think that is a very important step forward.
On the other hand, we have a number of clauses to which we object. Those objections remain. Yesterday we mentioned our objection to that clause in principle, and nothing has since changed to meet those objections of ours. In the Third Reading stage we are therefore maintaining the same standpoint that we maintained during the Second Reading stage. We shall therefore not be supporting the Third Reading.
Mr Speaker, I should like to thank hon members for their support or qualified support of the Bill. It is always a joy to be able to present to the House an important Bill dealing with our tertiary education. The Bill is introducing improvements and innovations in regard to three aspects of tertiary education, ie at university level, at technikon level and at teacher-training level. It is also introducing an important improvement in the functioning of that gateway to tertiary education, ie the Joint Matriculation Board.
When one comes to the Third Reading of a Bill such as this, one would like to take the opportunity of thanking the people in our tertiary education system and to pay tribute to them for the high standard South Africa has achieved internationally in a relatively short space of time in the field of tertiary education, and for the high quality of what we have achieved. There was a time, a brief generation ago, when for any form of advanced training, whether in the technical, educational or other university fields, South Africans had to travel abroad to study there, either at the very outset or after they had first completed three years of study in South Africa. The fact that we are today a country that can not only offer a large variety of highly sophisticated fields of study at our tertiary institutions, but can also offer that training at the very highest level, to the level of a doctoral qualification, and can undertake significant post-doctoral research in our departments and our institutes at our universities and, since a year or so ago, at our technikons too, so much so that we have erudite visitors from abroad who are aware of the quality of the work being done here and gladly come here, during their sabbatical leave, to work at our institutions, all compels one to take this opportunity of expressing thanks and appreciation to the principals of these institutions, their academic staff and all the back-up staff involved.
One would also like to take this opportunity of expressing appreciation for the fact that our institutions for tertiary education are aware of public accountability and aware of the fact that in regard to their work they are accountable to all who support them, the State, the students, the parental community and also the private sector which supports them financially. The importance of the accountability of our institutions for tertiary education, particularly in the sphere of instructional efficiency, must be emphasized. There was a time when universities were investigating and doing research into everything imaginable except their own set-up and their own efficiency. Since the end of the ’sixties universities have, however, become aware of the university as an object of research and study, and have specifically begun to put questions to themselves about the efficiency of their training and instructional techniques. There was a time when people very glibly said that the more learned a lecturer was, and the more he knew about his subject, the more incomprehensible would be the instruction he gave. Since the ’sixties, however, a fresh breeze of innovation began blowing through our universities in South Africa when universities began to give in-depth attention—as they are still doing—to the improvement and rationalization of their instructional efficiency. In this regard we would also like to express our thanks, on this occasion, to both the universities and technikons and the institutions for teacher training for focusing on this aspect of their own efficiency and their accountability to the community, the State, the students and the parents. We hope that in all these spheres tertiary education will continue, in future, to be the source of pride, joy and appreciation to South Africa that it has been in recent times.
Question agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Bill read a Third Time.
Mr Speaker, while I was on my feet yesterday evening, I drew attention to the fact that we in the official Opposition were in favour of the objectives of this Bill. I must however confess that I have experienced some degree of amazement over the past few minutes in listening to the hon the Minister of National Education talking about Black technikons. He pointed out that they have a different management style and financial structure and also a different relationship in their autonomy to the department than other technikons do. It was my understanding that that is exactly what this Bill has been drawn up to do away with, and in this regard I should like to quote from the Second Reading speech of the hon the Minister of Education and Training yesterday. He said, inter alia (Hansard, 4 June):
They cannot have it both ways. They cannot say that they do not want to give the directors of Black technikons a vote because they are different, and in terms of this Bill say too that they want Black technikons to be exactly the same as those for the other population groups. I should like a clear statement from the hon the Minister of Education and Training as to how his technikons differ from other technikons in management style, financial representation and autonomy in relation to the department. I believe that that is a key to our separate but unequal education in this country.
I also pointed out yesterday that if in fact this Bill was designed to bring Black technikons into line with other technikons in this country then there was no need to have separate technikons at all. Whatever the CP may say about “volksgebonde” education and education being culturally based—the cry of the NRP—education at technikons cannot be seen as being cultural transmission. The study of electronics, for example, knows no racial distinctions. [Interjections.] It is therefore imperative that technikons be utilized to the utmost extent and that all technikons should be open to anyone who wants to study there. People at the technikons should attain skills which will not only benefit those individuals of whatever colour but also relieve South Africa’s critical shortage of skilled manpower. The significance of this cannot be overestimated.
A second objective of this Bill is to grant the councils of technikons more autonomy. The councils will have the power to make administrative decisions and fulfil functions without the approval of the hon the Minister. We have been against the Minister’s excessive powers since the principal Act was introduced. This is particularly important as regards clause 4 which deals with technikons receiving donations or bequests. At present a technikon requires approval to receive and control money or property donated to it. This amendment will now allow the technikon to administer funds in a manner which it feels to be consistent with the aims of the technikon.
As we believe that technikons should be granted full autonomy we will be moving an amendment during the Committee Stage, namely:
This has to do with the autonomy of the right of councils of tertiary institutions including technikons to admit students. It was a clear provision in the HSRC report and a priority recommendation that the councils of all tertiary institutions should themselves have the right to make decisions as to whom they should admit and who not, without the approval of the Minister.
We certainly belive that where the councils of technikons are going to be allowed to do so many other things, for example, to control money and property, they should have the right to admit the students whom they they wish to admit of whatever race or colour. The hon the Minister has demonstrated his confidence in the councils through these proposed amendments and we therefore ask him to go a step further and to allow the councils to decide who can study there. Since the councils themselves already include departmental members, the Minister’s interests will surely be represented. We will be motivating this amendment more fully during the Committee Stage.
One further point which should be mentioned in connection with the whole question of the establishment of technikons and the Co-ordinating Council of Technikons is the lack of representation from trade unions. We believe this is a matter which could profitably be looked at by the hon the Minister and his department in the very near future.
Secondly, as regards certain other advantageous areas at which the hon the Minister can look, we believe that by saying there is only one technikon under the hon the Minister’s responsibility, is honestly to damn the direction of history of Black technical education in this country. To have only one in this country is a scandal. There should be more and there should certainly be planning for more. The hon the Minister must indicate quite clearly whether there is thinking within his department to make more technical education available in South Africa.
Lastly, I want to refer to the disturbing results of technikon training as mentioned in the department’s latest annual report. In 1982 only 10,3% of candidates passed the commerce certificate and only 46% passed the secretarial course. These are again rather damning statistics and we believe there should be some explanation for them.
With the exception of the matters mentioned and in particular in regard to the amendment to which I referred—that we would like the council themselves to control their admission—we will be supporting this Bill.
Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon member for Pinetown for his party’s support for the principle of this Bill. I have taken cognizance of the problems which the PFP experiences with this legislation.
The hon member for Pinetown pleaded that technikons should be opened to all and that there should not be different technikons for the different population groups. It is the acknowledged policy of that side of the House that this should be carried through from primary education to secondary education to technikons and universities. I listened to the hon member’s argument about the difference between the course offered at technikons and those offered at schools, for example. What he said was quite true. However, it is equally true that we on this side of the House have a particular policy which can be carried through from preprimary education all the way up, to university level. That is why this legislation provides for a technikon for Black education with regard to that aspect. The point is not that a technikon for Black education should be of a lower quality or standard than a technikon for Whites. We hope and trust, and it is indeed our intention, that just as in the case of schools and universities, technikons for people of colour should also produce work of the same quality as that of the White institutions. The point is that this side of the House implements the policy and believes that this principle of separate education should be consistently applied from the lowest to the highest institutions. The same applies to the admission of students. The hon member mentioned the fact that the council itself should be allowed to admit students as it sees fit. Here it is being allowed with the approval of the Minister. This is in line with the general policy that there should be separate technikons for the various population groups.
It is very clear that this legislation seeks to ensure the independence and autonomy of the Black technikon. The legislation proves that the Minister has enough confidence in the management and conduct of and teaching at Black technikons. For that reason, this legislation actually provides for greater autonomy for Black technikons.
There are a few matters which I would like to refer to. Firstly, there are the changes of designation: “rector” is being substituted for “director”, “academic board” is being substituted for “study board”, and what used to be called a “faculty” of a technikon will now be called a “school”. Furthermore, there is the creation of a secretariat for the co-ordinating council. I also think it is necessary that such a secretariat be created, especially in view of the fact that this co-ordinating council performs a very important function in the advice which it has to give to the Minister. I think the work which is already being done by this co-ordinating council is of particular importance and magnitude. In my opinion, therefore, the provision for the creation for such a secretariat is entirely justified.
I have already said that the legislation seeks to provide greater autonomy. Where the requirement of prior approval by the Minister is being abolished in several cases, the board is now being fully authorized, on specific conditions, to take its own decisions. I shall mention a few examples. Donations and bequests can now be received by the council and it can deal with them without the approval of the Minister. Procedures at meetings are now being laid down by regulation. It is very important that there is also a clause which provides that those regulations will now be made by the council itself, and in some cases the regulations are made after consultation with the academic board, especially when they have a bearing on tuition, discipline, etc. Furthermore, the council itself may now determine the allowances of the chairman or a member of the council, without the concurrence of the Minister of Finance. The same applies to the allowances of a member or assessor member of a committee of the academic board. The staff establishment of technikons will be determined by the council, and not with the approval of the Minister, as the position was in the past. An important principle which should also be kept in mind here is that this establishment must always be kept within the limits of the subsidy received and the fees paid by students, because the technikon must not spend its money in an undisciplined way, of course. Matters affecting the staff— ie appointments, promotions, transfers, discharge, conditions of service, etc—will also be at the sole discretion of the council from now on. The secondment of a member of staff to another institution without the approval of the Minister now rests with the council. After consultation with the academic board, the council itself will also be able to determine what the qualifications for admission should be, the number of students who may register for a course, and also the fees which the students have to pay. These are all functions which could only be performed with the approval of the Minister in the past. This is the position with regard to the greater autonomy of the council.
Clause 6 provides for the membership of the technikon council to be reduced from 30 to 20. There is no sinister reason for this, because the council has never consisted of 30 members anyway—it has also been proved in practice that 20 members should be sufficient.
Clause 12 deals with the whole question of the admission to the Black technikon of persons other than Blacks. I have already referred to the fact that such a student can only be admitted on the conditions determined by the Minister and with his approval. It is also very important that those conditions and that approval may subsequently be changed by the Minister once a student has been admitted. There are many reasons for this, and I believe that the hon the Minister will deal with them.
In terms of clause 14, the council is now able, without the approval of the Minister, to institute or offer a school or a course of study in respect of which a subsidy is paid. I believe that this is a step in the direction of full autonomy, for after all, it is the council itself that is going to take the decision concerning a need which may exist for a separate school or course of study.
The new section 20A, which is being inserted by clause 15, will lead to greater flexibility and is, generally speaking, a practical arrangement in terms of which National Education may conduct an examination in respect of any course of study offered by a technikon falling under Education and Training, and may also issue a certificate or diploma. This was not prohibited in the past, of course. All that is happening now is that provision is being made for it in this legislation. The council will also be able, with the concurrence of its academic board, to recognize an examination which has been passed by one of its students at another educational institution for the purpose of issuing a certificate or a diploma at its own technikon. In the same clause, provision is also being made for an examination which a student has passed at another technikon to be recognized, on the conditions determined by the Minister, for the purpose of obtaining a certificate or diploma at his own technikon. It is obvious that when circumstances arise, due to a lack of funds or a staff shortage, and so on, as a result of which a particular examination or courses of study cannot be offered at a technikon which is being attended by the student involved, he must be enabled to sit for the examination at some other educational institution, for example, at another technikon, and he must then be able to obtain a certificate or diploma for it at the technikon which he normally attends.
There is yet another way in which the autonomy is being extended. Whereas the financial statement of a technikon had to be submitted to the Auditor-General and audited by him in the past, the council is now being given the right to appoint its own auditors to audit the books.
We on this side of the House are very pleased to have reached the point where it is possible to confer this greater autonomy on the Black technikons with greater confidence, and I do not doubt that those technikons will function at a very high level. I take pleasure in supporting the legislation, therefore.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Virginia has given us a fairly detailed discussion of some of the clauses of this Bill, and I should like to react to what he said in this connection. I shall also refer to some of those clauses, but I shall try not to repeat what he said. The Bill contains one clause which the CP does not approve of and which we shall not support, therefore. However, I trust that when we come to the discussion of the clause concerned, the hon the Minister, who will naturally disagree with me in this respect, will argue and debate the matter with the same degree of understanding and moderation that he showed yesterday with regard to a fundamental difference between him and the official Opposition concerning another Bill. It is important that we should debate the points on which we differ from one another in this spirit.
In the first place, I want to say that this Bill deals mainly with certain changes in designations to which the hon member for Virginia has already referred and which I do not wish to repeat. As a result, it has become essential that certain textual improvements be effected to the Act. In the second place, the Bill provides for the existing technikon to be given greater administrative independence, which appears to be an important development. Naturally, greater autonomy means that additional powers have to be given to such a technikon, and in particular to its council, on the basis of which it will be able to do certain things for which it does not need the consent of the hon the Minister. We on this side of the House do not object to the granting of greater administrative autonomy to the technikon, with the accompanying powers which will result from this. However, I want to raise a matter in connection with clause 4 which I consider to be important, namely the fact that provision is now being made for the technikon to receive money or property in the form of donations for bequests or in trust, without the approval of the Minister, with the result that he will not be able to keep a watchful eye on it. The technikon may then deal with it for such purposes and subject to such conditions of the donation, bequest or trust as may be consistent with the aims of the technikon. The words “subject to such conditions … as may be consistent with the aims of the technikon” are very important to us in this connection. They ensure that the donation or bequest will not be subject to conditions which may force the technikon to comply with the will or wishes of someone else. It will not be possible, therefore, to lay down conditions which are contrary to the aims of the technikon. It will not be possible for any person to acquire any power over the technikon or to manipulate its council. We believe that this phrase in the clause is very important, therefore, and we welcome it.
We welcome the reduction of the council’s membership and we believe that this is an important positive step, because it is a fact that big councils give rise to problems. On the other hand, a council which is too small could also create problems, but I believe that the number which is now being laid down will be a very practical number. We also wlecome the fact that certain powers of delegation are being conferred on the rector. Naturally, it is not possible for the rector with all his many obligations to be present everywhere himself, so we believe that it is to be welcomed that certain powers of delegation are being conferred on it. This, too, is important to us, and we believe that it forms part of the powers which should be given to an autonomous technikon that the council should exercise control over the establishment and should therefore be able to handle its own staff appointments and so on.
As far as clause 14 is concerned, there is a matter which I should like to bring to the attention of the hon the Minister in order to invite his comment on it. I just want to say that clause 14 actually cuts both ways. On the one hand, it gives the council the right to introduce courses without ministerial approval, courses for which no subsidy is paid. On the other hand, if a subsidy is in fact paid, ministerial approval is required before such courses can be introduced. I believe that this is a sound arrangement. The question I want to put to the hon Minister is whether it is essential that the word “department” should now be replaced by the word “school”. I get the impression that we are introducing an English custom here. I am just wondering whether this is a sound amendment in this connection.
I find something of an anomaly in clause 18 which I want to bring to the attention of the hon the Minister, especially in view of the fact that this legislation will naturally be implemented under the new dispensation as well. This clause provides that if Parliament appropriates money for a subsidy and the Minister withholds some of that money for certain reasons, he will have to report the matter to the House of Assembly. In the new dispensation, this is likely to cause problems, because in the new dispensation, the White Chamber is going to be known as the House of Assembly, in order to distinguish it from the other two. If this legislation with the present wording were to be implemented in the new dispensation, it would mean that that hon Minister would have to report only to the White Chamber. I believe that the introduction of this Bill is perhaps the ideal opportunity to rectify this matter and to bring it into line with the fact that the Minister of Education and Training will not be a member of a Ministers’ Council, but of the Cabinet. From the nature of the case, he will then probably have to report to Parliament as a whole. I am only pointing this out because it is likely to cause problems in future.
The clause to which we object, of course, is clause 12. We were under the impression that it was actually not a question of the opening of the technikon to other races. Now one could debate the meaning of the word “opening”. If students who are not Black can be admitted with ministerial approval, if the Minister may withdraw that approval, and so on, it is debatable to what extent one may speak of the opening of the technikon. We understood that it was actually not a question of the opening of the institution, but that the intention was that people other than Blacks who were teaching at the technikon would be able, with the Minister’s consent, to take certain courses at that technikon if they want to, for the sake of convenience. It was regarded as a concession to accommodate exceptional cases. However, I think it has gradually become the foot in the door for more and more students to gain admission to tertiary institutions which were not created for the population group involved. In his Second Reading speech, however, the hon the Minister explained this concession by referring to courses which may be offered at the Black technikon and which are not offered at other technikons. Personally, I do not believe that this is the case at the moment. I can hardly imagine that there are courses being offered at that Black technikon at the moment which are not yet being offered at the White, Coloured or Indian technikons. The hon the Minister can correct me if there is in fact such a course, but I believe that it does not yet exist. There may be a development in that direction, of course.
On the other hand, I simply feel that since special separate technikons are being created for the different race groups, we should rather ensure that every such technikon is fully developed, also with regard to the courses it offers, so that those courses may satisfy all the requirements of that population group. Then there will not be any need for members of that population group to attend another technikon in order to follow a course which is not being offered by their own technikon. Instead of the proposed opening being created, we would welcome it if the separate technikons could rather be developed and equipped in such a way that we could really speak of full-fledged technikons for every population group.
I have said that we are opposed to this clause for this reason. However, we want to be very fair to the hon the Minister and we want to say that in the light of the fact that we have no problem with any of the other clauses, this one clause will not prevent us from voting for the Second Reading of the Bill. We shall support the Second Reading, therefore, but we reserve the right to vote against this clause in the Committee Stage, on the basis of our fundamental objection to it. Since I have now stated that we shall support the Second Reading with the reservation that we shall vote against this particular clause in the Committee Stage, I should like to tell the hon the Minister that we support all the other clauses.
In accordance with Standing Order No 22, the House adjourned at