I will be submitting Parliamentary questions to the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Blade Nzimande, to find out more about his relationship with the Education Alliance.
Last week the Minister, together with several of his Departmental colleagues, addressed a body called the Education Alliance, which he convened.
The composition of the ‘alliance’ resembles a shopping list of organisations which support the ANC in broad terms as well as a handful of statutory bodies answerable to the Minister.
According to the government notification of the meeting the members of the alliance are: ANC, COSATU, SACP, NEHAWU, SASCO, SADTU, SANCO, HETN, PPF, HESA, CEPD, CHE, ANCYL, YCLSA, SAUS, and SAFETSA.
The Minister is confusing state and party. Through the Education Alliance he is creating what is essentially a party political platform to aid him in getting pro-ANC outcomes on campuses around the country.
That the Minister views the ‘alliance’ to be ANC-sanctioned is revealed in the speaking notes he used, in which the meeting is described as being one with “progressive” organisations – progressive usually being a code word for ‘pro-ANC’.
In a statement issued by the Education Alliance following the meeting, using SADTU facilities and signed by leaders of SADTU, NASGB, COSAS, NEHAWU, YCLSA, SASCO, and, bizarrely, POPCRU, the Alliance claims that it is concerned about the “neoliberal” tendencies in education, and aocates a system which will create “patriotic” South Africans.
Organisations not aligned with the ANC or the Alliance do not appear to have been invited to this meeting.
Given these facts, the questions I will submit will focus on:
– whether the Minister believes that the solutions to the vast and difficult problems in education lie within this narrow and partisan grouping
– whether he will be addressing other formations in the world of education, and if so when, and
– whether he, as a representative of the ANC-led government, should not be confining his addresses to such audiences to party political events rather than official government events.
The blurring of party and state must be guarded against, especially in the arena of education.
Shadow Minister of Higher Education and Training
Source : Democratic Alliance