Minister Schäfer encourages learners to register to vote
This weekend is the last opportunity to register to vote before the Local Government Elections on 1 November 2021. I urge all of our learners aged 18 and over to register to vote in the 2021 Local Government Elections during the Registration Weekend on 18 and 19 September. Online registration is also available on the IEC’s website. Of course, anyone aged 16 and above can register, although they may only vote once the attain the age of 18.
Voting is an important civic duty, and one that we must not take for granted. Our current learners were born into a democracy, but as adults we remember a time when rights were not afforded to all. It is important that we remind our children of what came before, and just how precious the ability to vote freely and fairly is.
Our matric learners are looking ahead to their post-school future, and this is an excellent opportunity for them to have a say in what that future will look like. I also appeal to our teachers, who are important role models to our learners, to set the example by voting and by encouraging others to vote.
More information about the registration process is available on the IEC’s website: https://www.elections.org.za/pw/Elections-and-results/Municipal-Elections-2021
Unfortunately, the change in the date of the election (from 27 October to 1 November) affected the national matric exam timetable. As a result, the decision was made to move the exams of 1 and 2 November a few days earlier, to 27 and 28 October. This was the option that was least disruptive, and the decision was made in the best interest of our learners.
I wish our learners well as they make their final preparations for the exams, and I appeal to the residents of the Western Cape to support our matrics, so they can do their very best in the exams despite another tough year.
I would like to remind all political parties that Section 33A of the South African Schools Act of 1996, and Section 46B of the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act of 1997, read together, prevent individuals and organisations from conducting political activities during school time on school premises. This includes campaigning, conducting a rally, distributing party-political literature, and the hanging of posters. Further, a school may not allow the display of material of a party-political nature on its premises, unless such party-political material is related to the curriculum at the school.
“School time” includes both the school hours as determined by the School Governing Body, and any other time during which curricular or extra-curricular activities are taking place on the school premises.
Parties and candidates, as well as schools, must familiarise themselves thoroughly with the provisions in both Acts – schools are places of learning and everyone must respect this. Teaching and learning must be protected at all times.