SADTU takes exception to persistent attacks on how Teachers dress in the Eastern Cape

03 March 2017

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union is observing an annoying pattern that is developing amongst Eastern Cape Members of the Executive Council who seem to be taking turns to mount unprovoked and unwarranted attacks on educators in the province.

First it was Education MEC Mandla Makupula and now his colleague Pemmy Majodina has joined him in these unwarranted attacks. Both seem to have issue with educators wearing jeans and leggings.

As a union, we support any call that our members must at all times dress appropriately. Our members are adults who fully appreciate this fact and do not need to be reminded as to how to dress.

The teaching profession does not have a uniform which educators must wear neither does the profession need such a uniform. Educators like any member of society have their own dress code preferences and have every right to dress in any appropriate manner which gives them comfort.

The obsession which these two MEC's have developed with how educators dress is now reaching unacceptable levels. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible and call upon the Premier to reprimand them.

These MEC's and those who hold similar views seem to be stuck in backward, patriarchal and stereotypical thinking which fails to adjust to changes in society.

Whilst one of them has declared herself a fashionista instead of focussing on her work, educators are focussed on their work and have no interest in making fashion statements. As a working class formation, we can never encourage our members to adopt Eurocentric and bourgeoisie tendencies as if dressing in this fashion has an impact and/or contributes in any way to learning and teaching in our schools.

Whilst these MEC's are obsessed with jeans and leggings, educators are still waiting to be paid their salaries; our children continue to learn under trees and inappropriate structure; a number of schools still don't have toilets, libraries and recreational facilities. This is what should rather bother these MEC's. We call upon these MEC's to unconditionally withdraw these reactionary statements and apologise.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary,
Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968

Deputy General Secretary,
Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651

Media Officer,
Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157