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DA’s ‘young’ education minister welcomed despite moans


Many have greeted the appointment of the DA’s Basic Education Minister Siviwe Gwarube with excitement and have welcomed the “young” minister spearheading the department.

New Basic Education Minister Siviwe Gwarube. Picture: Timothy Bernard, African News Agency (ANA)

SOCIAL media users have welcomed the DA’s Basic Education Minister Siviwe Gwarube despite the SA Democratic Teachers Union’s rejection. This after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his government of national unity (GNU) Cabinet on Sunday night.

Many took to the internet to express their excitement over a “young” minister appointed to spearhead the department. Gwarube is reportedly 34 years old.

TikTok pop culture influencer Zethu Gqola listed Gwarube as a minister of interest.

“There are so many young ministers that I am interested in,” she said.

Her comment was met by users who shared the same sentiments.

@romizzledizzle said she had high hopes for the new minister. “She can actually remember how it feels to put on a uniform, and as a woman of colour she will hopefully look out for our girls in public schools.”

@T said people should realise that even if young ministers want to make things work, they are being controlled and that will make things difficult.

@Saadiya Adams said now we will see if educated youth will make a difference.

Sadtu’s general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said their rejection of Gwarube stems from the DA’s manifesto suggesting they believe Sadtu is a stumbling block to quality education.

Speaking on Newzroom Afrika on Monday, Maluleke also said the DA had been clear in rejecting transformational policies that the Department of Basic Education wanted to implement, such as the Bela Bill.

He said that the bill would help the department deal with issues of language and address issues of discrimination in schools based on language.

“We are really not happy, I must indicate, with the department being headed by a person from the DA, irrespective of whether black, white or brown … That is not an issue.

“The issue is that those beliefs and ideologies that the DA still has, that the poor and working-class must always accept the inferior status and this white supremacy mentality has governed the DA throughout. We have seen it even in letters that have been leaked, the statements by Helen Zille – obviously that is their culture, their belief, their ideology and that is the issue,” said Maluleke.

He said that he also does not understand why the president left out the bill when he signed other bills into law before the elections.

ALSO READ: Sadtu ‘really not happy’ with Siviwe Gwarube as Minister of Basic Education

NGO, Section 27, said the Bela Bill had generated misconceptions suggesting that it grants teachers authority to mandate abortions or interfere in learners’ pregnancies. There are concerns about parental notification and the possibility of learners being compelled to have abortions.

Section 27 further stated that according to section 61 of the South African Schools Act, the Bela Bill does not empower teachers or school officials to participate in a learner’s decision regarding abortion. The reference to “learner pregnancy” in the Bela Bill is unrelated to abortion.

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