South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Policy Documents

The Reconstruction and Development Programme

3. Developing our Human Resources

1 March 1994


3.1.1Education and training under apartheid is characterised by three key features. First, the system is fragmented along racial and ethnic lines, and is saturated with the racist and sexist ideology and educational doctrines of apartheid. Second, there is a lack of access or unequal access to education and training at all levels of the system. Vast disparities exist between black and white provision, and large numbers of people – in particular, adults (and more especially women), out-of-school youth, and children of pre-school age – have little or no access to education and training. Third, there is a lack of democratic control within the education and training system. Students, teachers, parents and workers are excluded from decision-making processes.

3.1.2The fragmented, unequal and undemocratic nature of the education and training system has profound effects on the development of the economy and society. It results in the destruction, distortion or neglect of the human potential of our country, with devastating consequences for social and economic development. This is evident in the lack of career paths offered to workers and in the effect this has on worker motivation and the general productivity of the economy. And more importantly, apartheid education and its aftermath of resistance destroyed the culture of learning in large sections of our communities, leading, in the worst-affected areas, to a virtual breakdown of schooling and conditions of anarchy in relations between students, teachers, principals, and the education authorities.

3.1.3Under colonialism and apartheid, the culture of the majority of the population was suppressed. People and communities were denied resources and facilities to develop their own cultural expression. High illiteracy rates, the lack of an effective educational system, and extreme poverty compounded this cultural deprivation. The state, special interest groups and wealthy South Africans promoted distorted culture in order to accommodate apartheid ideology and needs, with a bias toward Eurocentric high art.

3.1.4Women and the youth bear the brunt of these injustices, with the consequence that special attention must be given to these sectors of society in the planning and implementation of human resources development policies and strategies. Many of the youth are presently outside the socio-economic mainstream of the country.

3.1.5The challenge that we face at the dawning of a democratic society is to create an education and training system that ensures people are able to realise their full potential in our society, as a basis and a prerequisite for the successful achievement of all other goals in this Reconstruction and Development Programme.



3.2.1Human resources, unlike other resources, think for themselves! People are, and must remain, the architects of the RDP as it unfolds in the years to come. The provision of opportunities for people to develop themselves in order to improve the quality of their own lives and the standard of living of their communities is a central objective of the RDP, alongside ensuring that basic needs are met, the society is democratised and the economy grows.

3.2.2The opportunities that must be provided include a massive expansion and qualitative improvement in the education and training system, artistic and cultural expression, and sport and recreation.

3.2.3Human resource development must address the development of human capabilities, abilities, knowledge and knowhow to meet the people’s ever-growing needs for goods and services, to improve their standard of living and quality of life. It is a process in which the citizens of a nation acquire and develop the knowledge and skill necessary for occupational tasks and for other social, cultural, intellectual, and political roles that are part and parcel of a vibrant democratic society.



3.3.1We must develop an integrated system of education and training that provides equal opportunities to all irrespective of race, colour, sex, class, language, age, religion, geographical location, political or other opinion. It must address the development of knowledge and skills that can be used to produce high-quality goods and services in such a way as to enable us to develop our cultures, our society and our economy.

3.3.2Education must be directed to the full development of the individual and community, and to strengthening respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It must promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all South Africans and must advance the principles contained in the Bill of Rights.

3.3.3A new national human resources development strategy must be based on the principles of democracy, non-racism, non-sexism, equity and redress to avoid the pitfalls of the past.

3.3.4The democratic government has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that our human resources are developed to the full. Education, training and development opportunities must be provided in accordance with national standards. However, civil society must be encouraged to play an active part in the provision of learning opportunities as part of the national human resources development strategy. For example, democratic school governance structures must be set up which involve democratically elected parent and teacher representatives, as well as providing for student participation at a consultative level.

3.3.5Mechanisms, institutions and legislation. Success in rebuilding and expanding education and training depends on having an effective and responsive organisation to manage change. The education and training bureaucracy must be reorganised at national, sectoral and provincial levels through the establishment of: single national ministry responsible for education and training, to set national policies, norms and standards throughout the system, to undertake planning and provide budgetary resources for all aspects of education and training, and to manage higher education and training development; departments responsible for education and training, to plan and manage all aspects of education and training provision other than higher education; bodies, based on appropriate democratic representation of stakeholders, to establish standards and advise the national ministry and provincial departments on policy and development programmes in education and training; education and training boards with union and employer participation, to design and implement programmes within industries (with such boards partly financed by industry), consisten with the standards developed for the integrated national framework; of institutional governance which reflect the interests of all stakeholders and the broader community served by the institution, and statutory South African Qualifications Authority with responsibility for accreditation, certification and the maintenance of national standards.

3.3.6Girls and women in education and training. Girls and women are frequently denied education and training opportunities because they are female. Furthermore, girls and women are educated and trained to fulfil traditional roles which perpetuate their oppression. Within all education and training programmes special attention must be given to the special interests of girls and women. For example, adult basic education and training programmes should give special emphasis to women trapped in the rural areas. Campaigns and information should also open up a wider range of learning opportunities and choices for women, which in turn should lead to a wider range of income-generating forms of employment. Girls and women should be encouraged to pursue non-traditional subjects such as maths and science, for example. However, in addition to these measures, special steps must be taken to give full recognition and value to the work and skills that are traditionally associated with women. Where appropriate these should be recognised within the national qualifications framework.

3.3.7An integrated qualifications framework. By establishing a national qualifications framework which integrates all elements of the education and training system, we must enable learners to progress to higher levels from any starting point. They must be able to obtain recognition and credits for qualifications and credits towards qualifications from one part of the system to another. The system must enable assessment and recognition of prior learning and skills acquired through experience. To this end, curricula should cut across traditional divisions of skills and knowledge.

3.3.8Early childhood educare. Educare, which introduces an educational component into child care, must be an integral part of a future education and training system. The provision of educare for young children is an important step toward lifetime learning and the emancipation of women. We must expand early childhood educare by supporting an increase in private and public funding; institutionalising it within the ministry and the provincial departments, and raising national awareness of the importance of such programmes. The democratic government also bears the ultimate responsibility for training, upgrading and setting national standards for educare providers, with the assistance of civil society.

3.3.9Adult basic education and training. Basic Education (ABE) aims to provide adults with education and training programmes equivalent to exit level in the formal school system, with an emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills. This represents a crucial step in the reconstruction and development of our society. Special provision must be made for ABE within the future national ministry and government departments at all levels. ABE must conform to standards set out within the national qualifications. provision of ABE must be expanded by building a partnership of all employer, labour, local and provincial government, community and funding agencies. This will establish a process to provide funding support to a national ABE programme, managed at provincial, sectoral, local, community and workplace levels, and where possible using existing educational and training facilities when these are unutilised or underutilised, such as at night, over weekends and during holidays. must be centrally included in all reconstruction projects, and particularly programmes for the unemployed. Micro enterprises must also be given assistance with respect to ABE. Such provision should assist learners to seek related employment on completion of the specific project.

3.3.10Special education. Under minority rule and apartheid, the learning needs of children and adults with physical or other disabilities and impairments suffered massive neglect. The RDP must redress this situation by establishing appropriate institutional structures and inter-sectoral groups, mounting a national advocacy campaign to raise awareness of the issue, ensuring that existing facilities are optimally used, and developing new programmes as needed. The education and training needs of the disabled and other marginalised groups should be catered for as part of a process of facilitating access to facilities and to the economy, so that disadvantaged groups are seen as an asset – by themselves and by society at large.

3.3.11Compulsory school education. democratic government must restructure the education and training systems to meet the needs of all. We must foster community participation and a culture of teaching and learning. We must develop a national qualifications system that should recognise learners’ skills, experience and studies, allowing them to gain access to different kinds of education and training throughout their lives, and letting people re-enter education and training easily. democratic government must enable all children to go to school for at least 10 years. The 10-year compulsory general education cycle should proceed from a pre-school reception year to the present Standard 7. The government must phase in compulsory education as soon as possible. To achieve this objective we must rebuild and expand our schools. Classes of 50-80 or more students are unacceptable. We must ensure that no class exceeds 40 students by the end of the decade. addition, we must align the structure, curricula and certification with the new national qualifications system. from the present Standard 8 up to the present Standard 10 must be redesigned and incorporated into an integrated post-compulsory phase of learning, coordinated at national level and resulting in a Further Education Certificate (or National Higher Certificate). This will integrate post-compulsory schooling with training and should replace the matric with a Further Education Certificate or National Higher Certificate. new programmes, curricula and teaching approaches for the first four years of school must take into account the language, learning and developmental needs of young children. need for school buildings must be addressed by vastly improved use of existing facilities and a school-building programme. To this end all schools and existing facilities are to be used to full capacity by the start of 1995 for both compulsory and non-compulsory learning, and schools must be built in sufficient numbers to meet the real demand. We must empower school communities to take responsibility for the care and protection of their schools. schools and community schools must be progressively integrated into the ordinary school system, and additional schools must be provided in commercial farming areas. existing curriculum bears the mark of racism, sexism, authoritarianism and outmoded teaching practices. Transformation is essential. Curriculum change takes time, but we must find points of entry to permit reconstruction to start in 1994. Major stakeholders must reach agreement through the National Education and Training Forum on the management of curriculum and examinations in the transition period. We must establish institutes for curriculum development at national and provincial levels. education, in particular, suffered severe deficits in the areas of science, mathematics, technology, arts and culture. Curriculum development must therefore pay special attention to these areas.

3.3.12Further education and training. education and training is the term used in this document to refer to those education and training experiences which follow compulsory general education or its equivalent and culminate in the National Higher Certificate. education must provide schooling, training and adult education as an integrated system. A balanced and flexible curriculum leading to the National Higher Certificate must be developed for all learners in a variety of learning contexts: students learning within formal institutions, workers in industry, out-of-school youth, and adults learning in community learning centres. The curriculum must seek to open learning paths consistent with the goals of lifelong learning.

3.3.13 Higher education. higher education system represents a major resource for national development and contributes to the world-wide advance of knowledge. But its present structure and capacity are seriously distorted by the apartheid inheritance, its governance systems are outmoded, and its funding arrangements have led to serious crises for both the students and the institutions themselves. order to address these structural problems with the seriousness they deserve, the new democratic government will consult all significant stakeholders with a view to appointing a representative and expert higher education commission to investigate and report urgently on the role of the higher education sector in national reconstruction and development; the structure of the system; access/selection and exclusion; the role of open learning and distance education; institutional governance and the governance of the system as a whole; capacity-building and affirmative action in academic and administrative appointments; the resource base for higher education, and the system of student finance.

3.3.14 Teachers, educators and trainers. reconstruction of education and training requires a body of teachers, educators and trainers committed to RDP goals and competent in carrying them out. This requires that they are able to understand and respond flexibly to the challenges of the new approaches to curriculum, method, delivery and certification which an integrated system of education and training demands. They must dedicate themselves to enhancing the quality of learning and achievement throughout the system. Teachers, educators and trainers who are inadequately educated, badly treated by their employers, and poorly rewarded cannot be expected to fulfil these expectations. adult basic education and training, the problems faced are those of insufficient and poor-quality training opportunities for facilitators, non-existent qualifications and career paths, and very low status. For school teachers, problems range from poor initial training, to insufficient support services and low wages and poor conditions. The reconstruction of education and training requires an overhaul of teacher/educator/trainer training and the industrial relations system in line with other sectors. national and provincial teacher, educator and trainer development centres should be established to review all relevant education and training curriculum and support services. They must take special measures to increase the supply and competence of maths, science and art teachers for schools, and educators/trainers for the non-compulsory learning sectors. transparent, participatory and equitable process to review salaries and conditions of service will be established. It will guarantee a living wage to the worst-paid teachers. It will also establish appropriate career paths, introduce criteria for the recognition and grading of teachers and trainers, and promote professional development within the proposed national qualifications framework.

3.3.15Restructuring training within an integrated education and training system. RDP proposes a substantially restructured and expanded training system, integrated with Adult Basic Education, post-Standard 7 formal schooling and higher education. national qualifications framework must be the mechanism by means of which this integration is given effect. national ministry and provincial departments of education and training must consult with the restructured bodies of civil society on policy issues. and training for skills development must be modular and outcome-based; must recognise prior learning and experience; must develop transferable and portable skills; must have common standards, and must be integrated within the national qualifications and accreditation system. Training programmes and schooling after Standard 7 should form part of an integrated system. Training for self-employment is essential and must be offered.



3.4.1Arts and culture embrace custom, tradition, belief, religion, language, crafts, and all the artforms like music, dance, the visual arts, film, theatre, written and oral literature. Arts and culture permeate all aspects of society and are integral parts of social and economic life, as well as business and industry based upon the arts.

3.4.2Under colonialism and apartheid the culture of the majority of South Africans was neglected, distorted and suppressed. Freedom of expression and creativity were stifled. People and communities were denied access to resources and facilities to exercise and develop their need for cultural and artistic expression. Illiteracy, the lack of an effective educational system, and extreme poverty compounded this cultural deprivation.

3.4.3The RDP arts and culture policies aim to: and promote the rich and diverse expression of South African culture – all people must be guaranteed the right to practise their culture, language, beliefs and customs, as well as enjoy freedom of expression and creativity free from interference; the development of a unifying national culture, representing the aspirations of all South Africa’s people (this cannot be imposed, but requires educating people in principles of non-racialism, non-sexism, human rights and democracy); that resources and facilities for both the production and the appreciation of arts and culture are made available and accessible to all (priority must be given to those people and communities previously denied access to these resources);, promote and revitalise our national cultural heritage so it is accessible to all communities (historical and cultural collections, resources and sites must fully reflect the many components of our cultural heritage and, in particular, neglected and suppressed aspects of our people’s culture must be conserved); arts education firmly within the national educational curricula, as well as in non-formal educational structures; culture firmly to areas of national priority such as health, housing, tourism, etc., to ensure that culture is entrenched as a fundamental component of development; and implement a language policy that encourages and supports, financially and otherwise, the utilisation of all the languages of South Africa, and with educational bodies and the media in eradicating illiteracy, and in promoting a reading and learning culture.

3.4.4A Ministry of Arts and Culture must be established to implement these objectives.

3.4.5Existing publicly funded and parastatal cultural and arts structures, such as the Performing Arts Councils, the National Gallery, museums, libraries, archives and monuments, must be democratised. Commissions to investigate the organisation, funding, policies and future roles of such structures must be established as a matter of urgency. These commissions should report within six months of their appointment, and complete the tasks of transformation within two years.

3.4.6Ultimately government is responsible for the provision of cultural amenities for each community. As an immediate measure, established community art centres should be subsidised by government. In the longer term, the Ministry of Arts and Culture should work with local and regional government and community structures to form community art centres throughout the country.

3.4.7With local and provincial government, the Ministry should establish libraries, museums, galleries, monuments and historical sites. These should reflect the many different strands of South African culture. Each community should have these facilities located within reach.

3.4.8Arts education should be an integral part of the national school curricula at primary, secondary and tertiary level, as well as in non-formal education. Urgent attention must be given to the creation of relevant arts curricula, teacher training, and provision of facilities for the arts within all schools.

3.4.9Nationally and within each region, democratic Arts Councils will be established as statutory bodies. Allocations to such bodies will be made by the government, operating within its policy framework. Principles along which government funding will be disbursed must include redressing imbalances of the past, transformation and development, non-racialism, non-sexism, human rights and democracy.

3.4.10The Pan-South African Language Institute proposed in the Interim Constitution must be constituted as a matter of urgency, to devise programmes and seek resources to develop all South African languages and particularly the historically neglected indigenous languages.

3.4.11The government will encourage and facilitate cultural exchange between the people of South Africa and the rest of the world. This exchange will be informed by the views of cultural workers and associations and will be aimed at promoting local developmental programmes and international understanding.

3.4.12A statutory national body should be created to encourage the development of a healthy, vibrant and diverse local South African film and audio-visual industry, reflecting the realities of all the people of South Africa. This body should work to give the majority of South African viewers and audio-visual practitioners access to audio-visual communications.

3.4.13Legislation hindering the development of the arts (for example, censorship laws) must be repealed. Legislation should be adopted based on principles of transformation, reconstruction and development, and in line with international conventions on the arts, labour legislation protecting cultural workers, and copyright laws.

3.4.14We must develop human resources to fulfil these objectives, in part through employing additional civil servants on a contract or permanent basis, as well as through retraining existing personnel.

3.4.15The Ministry of Arts and Culture must have its own budget. Funding for arts and culture will also be obtained through encouraging partnerships between government, business, non-governmental organisations, communities, and the international community. Within this framework, the national budget will carry an allocation specifically for culture. The framework will make provision for tax incentives and rebates to encourage investment in arts and culture.



3.5.1One of the cruellest legacies of apartheid is its distortion of sport and recreation in our society, the enforced segregation of these activities and the gross neglect in providing facilities for the majority of South Africa’s people. This has denied millions of people and particularly our youth the right to a normal and healthy life.

3.5.2It is important to ensure that sporting and recreational facilities are available to all South African communities. Participation in sporting and recreational activities should reflect the country’s demographics. The removal of obstacles that preclude specific sections of the community from participation is crucial. This cannot be left entirely in the hands of individual sporting codes or local communities, both of whom require support and encouragement.

3.5.3Sport and recreation are an integral part of reconstructing and developing a healthier society. Sport and recreation should cut across all developmental programmes, and be accessible and affordable for all South Africans, including those in rural areas, the young and the elderly. The RDP must facilitate the mobilising of resources in both the public and private sectors to redress inequalities and enhance this vital aspect of our society.

3.5.4Particular attention must be paid to the provision of facilities at schools and in communities where there are large concentrations of unemployed youth. Sport and recreation are an integral and important part of education and youth programmes. In developing such programmes it should be recognised that sport is played at different levels of competence and that there are different specific needs at different levels.

3.5.5The new democratic government must work with the National Sports Commission in developing and implementing a sports policy. This should include issues such as the establishment of an independent national sports controlling agency for the control of drugs in sport, as well as a national sports academy to undertake and coordinate training programmes concerning coaching, refereeing, umpiring and sports management.



3.6.1The high levels of youth unemployment require special programmes. A national youth service programme is already giving young people structured work experience while continuing their education and training. The programme should not just be seen as a job creation measure, however, but as youth development and capacity building. Care must be taken to ensure that the programme does not displace or substitute workers in permanent employment.

3.6.2Youth development more generally must focus on education and training, job creation, and enabling young people to realise their full potential and participate fully in the society and their future. It must restore the hope of our youth in the future, and in their capacity to channel their resourcefulness and energy into reconstruction and development.

3.6.3The national youth service programme must better educate, develop, train and empower youth, and enable them to participate in the reconstruction of society through involvement in service projects in the community such as literacy, welfare, and improving infrastructure. All development and job creation programmes such as a national public works programme must address the problem of youth alienation and unemployment.

3.6.4A national institution must coordinate the programme in consultation with other sectors. Areas in which the youth service programme could contribute include educare and literacy programmes, health, environmental protection, rural and urban infrastructure development, and peace monitoring. The programme must also be used to enhance awareness of the relationships between productivity, the economy and the role of science and technology in achieving the objectives of the RDP. Finally, the youth service programme must also build a spirit of national unity and reconciliation amongst the youth, as well as a sense of service towards the community and the nation.

3.6.5Appropriate government departments must more forcefully represent youth interests, including through the allocation of resources to organisations involved in youth work. An autonomous National Youth Council should be given support in coordinating youth activities, lobbying for the rights of young people, and representing South Africa internationally. A review of legislation affecting youth and the implementation of youth service programmes must also be carried out.

3.6.6The democratic government must support the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the supporting Plan of Action. It must work to protect the lives of children, to promote the full development of their human potential, and to make them aware of their needs, rights and opportunities. The needs of children must be paramount throughout all programmes aimed at meeting basic needs and socio-economic upliftment.