The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) would like to put it on record that it was one of stakeholders who attended the meeting called by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Training with stakeholders to deal with the COVID-19 threat in the post schooling education and training sector on Tuesday, 17 March 2020.
The statement issued by Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, mentioned only three labour unions – NEHAWU, PSA and NTEU among those who attended the meeting. SADTU’s Deputy President, Mabutho Cele and National Treasurer, Lindiwe Motshwane were part of the deliberations.
Even though the invitation came at a late hour, as committed stakeholders who are keen to contribute positively towards curbing the spread of COVID-19, we honoured it and attended the meeting.
Afterwards, we issued a communique to our members welcoming the pronouncement by DHET that TVET, CET and universities will use the 18 th to the 20 th of March 2020 to close taking into account the circumstance of students and personnel.
We call on the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation to stop treating SADTU as poor cousins in this sector. We are the largest union in the basic education and public service sectors and we have a sizeable membership in Higher Education.
We call on the Minister to hold those who are responsible for misleading him accountable because SADTU is here to stay. This is not the time to play politics because the nation must unite to defeat his pandemic.
We call upon our members to focus on efforts to educate each other about precautionary measures to defeat COVID-19 and leave those who exclude SADTU from the media statement to waste their energy because our union, SADTU is above petty politics. Ours is the fight against the pandemic to save our country and the world.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi