5 October 2014, Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg, Gauteng Province
The SADTU 8th National Congress which brings together the National Office Bearers, Provincial Office Bearers, Regional Chairpersons and Secretaries, 1 branch delegate for every 350 paid up members convened from the 2nd to the 5th of October 2014, Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng representing more than 260 000 educators and education workers.
We, the delegates to this Congress convened under the theme "Restore the Character of SADTU as a Union of Revolutionary Professionals, Agents of Change and Champions of People`s Education for People`s Power in pursuit of Socialism" acknowledge the role that we have to play in pursuance of a more radical second phase of the transition. We hold the view that this phase is necessary as we continuously seek to advance the NDR.
The Congress met after four years bigger and stronger with the greater semblance of unity. The union has grown by almost 15 000 members since 2009. This is clear sign of vote of confidence in the union as a beacon of hope to teachers and education workers. The union remains the only available tool to champion the course of education workers in the country.
We remain inspired by some of our fallen stalwarts in the mould of Nelson Mandela, Matthew Goniwe, OR Tambo and Joe Slovo who, in their own individual way, symbolised the people`s quest for justice, equality and access to quality public education for all. These stalwarts of the movement led the way, fought hard battles and showed us what it means to be selfless and dedicated to a course.
We declare that socialism is the future as it guarantees sustainable development and deconstruct the exploitation of one man by another and will end poverty and misery in the world.
The Congress concedes that the National Democratic Revolution remains the shortest route to socialism and should be pursued with vigor. The Congress re-affirms the Alliance as the only reliable structure that has the potential to advance the NDR and to mobilise the entire society towards attaining the National Democratic Society.
The Congress further re-affirms the unity of SADTU, COSATU, ANC and SACP as sacrosanct.
The Congress declares that Trade Unions are not political parties and have no potential of being vanguards of the working class.
The Congress re-affirms the SACP as the only vanguard party in the country with a reliable history of struggle.
The Congress calls on the strengthening of the ANC-led alliance in pursuance of the second radical transition.
The Congress further re-affirms that the united COSATU is the only capable instrument of fighting for the socio-economic rights of all workers in the country and thus call on the re-doubling of efforts to cement the unity of COSATU.
The Congress further re-affirms the founding principle of one sector, one union, one country, one federation and condemns intentions of some unions to broaden their scopes and thus offend this long held principle of the federation with the possibility of weakening and destroying other unions.
The Congress condemns the super-union mentality.
SADTU demands maximum discipline by all members and leaders at all levels in order to drive the second radical phase of economic transformation and engage in battles against neo-liberal onslaught.
We are all members of SADTU and NOT members of other members and we are bound by the constitution of the union. Nobody is above the constitution of the union.
Our union subscribes to the principle of democratic centralism and re-affirms the NEC in terms of the constitution as the only structure vested with the powers to manage the affairs of the union.
Decisions of the NEC taken after all views were considered are final and binding to all members, leaders and structures of the union.
The Congress condemns the new tendency by some members, leaders and structures abusing courts to resolve the internal differences.
The union further condemns the recent populism, popstarism, demagoguery and love for the media with the wish of becoming celebrities at the expense of the union. The Congress resolved that any structure, leader or member that takes the union to court shall have dismissed and or disbanded themselves.
We therefore resolve that any member, leader or structure that ignores internal remedies and opt for the media as the platform to raise the union`s internal affairs shall be deemed to have dismissed and or disbanded itself.
We call on all structures and leaders who have taken the union to court to withdraw such cases with immediate effect.
Congress notes that in recent times the organisation has been exposed to an unprecedented wave of "un-SADTU", counter-revolutionary elements hell bent to destroy us from within.
These elements are characterized by gross organisational ill-discipline and an emphatic disregard for our constitution. Some of them have gone to the extent of organising and attempting to recruit members from within our very own ranks. Some have resorted to subjecting the Union to endless legal processes in an attempt to de-focus us. They have attempted to undermine our unity utilising all forms of underhand and un-comradely tactics.
These wedge drivers that Cde O.R. Tambo correctly warned us about have a sharp poisonous tongue and instead of allowing themselves to be subjected to the Union`s Code of Conduct, resort to populist sloganeering and mobilising internal revolts.
Congress wants to make it clear that it rejects this new found zeal to destabilise our Union and that we will do what is necessary to defend the organisation with equal enthusiasm and will not shy away from this task.
We are determined to defend the constitution of the Union before which all members must be equal at all costs. This profound determination is informed by the recent attacks from within our ranks that we have been exposed to.
Congress notes and welcomes the 2014 general elections results. In any democracy a 62% margin is accepted as a popular mandate. We appreciate the confidence that the people of South Africa continue to show in the ANC led government. We commit ourselves to working very closely with the ANC and making tangible contribution to ensure another overwhelming victory in the 2016 local government elections.
At a broader level, delegates note the recent attacks on Chapter 9 institutions of democracy from those meant to lead them. We are an organisation that fought many other injustices in our past and including the present and we have a moral obligation to protect these institutions even if it is against those that lead them.
Delegates noted the emerging threat of business in trade unions and workerism with traces of ethnic chauvinism within our ever changing political landscape. We view this as a deliberate attempt to divide the working class and derail us from our historic mission as this stratum of society. The view of Congress is that the trade union movement has a specific and critical role to play in terms of advancing and defending the interests of the workers.
We also believe that in pursuing its mission, the trade union movement must have a holistic view of itself as part of a system that includes other strata in society and that it must work with these to achieve its goals. We are thus calling for a stronger Tripartite Alliance at all levels that must start with a united COSATU which we must all defend.
The Congress also deliberated on pertinent issues ranging from the political chemistry, socio-economic, international and Organisational.
The Congress further extensively deliberated on all the matters affecting teachers, learners, education personnel and the country at large, assessed the impact of the all the campaigns directed at defending collective bargaining, which is the essence of our existence. The Congress further took time to reflect on the escalating violence against our teachers and the teaching community in general.
The Congress`s focus was on the evaluation of the curriculum transformation and the progress made in relation to Millennium Development Goals.
In view of the challenges that confront us both within and outside the organization and in line with our 2030 Vision which we are firmly re-affirming, we further resolved on the following:
PILLAR NUMBER 1
EFFECTIVE SERVICING OF UNION MEMBERS
On the Government Employees Housing Scheme (GEHS)
On the clean-break principle of the GEPF rules
On Government Employees Medical Aid Scheme (GEMS)
On the Quality Management System (QMS)
On access to funds managed by the Public Investment Cooperation
On the Post Provisioning Model (PPM)
On the concept of an ideal school
On Multi-Grade Teaching
On Early Childhood Development (ECD)
The Union would convene a conference to review the setwork prescribed for learners in the ECD up to Grade 12 in order to review this policy and set criteria that will be biaised to African setwork books given the importance of educating a child holistically.
On Adult Education and Training (AET)
On corporate social responsibility
PILLAR NUMBER 2
CREATING A LEARNING NATION
On Inclusive Education
On the Incremental Introduction of African Languages
On the teaching of History
On the Annual National Assessment
The Congress re-affirmed the NGC resolution as follows:
PILLAR NUMBER 3
PROMOTING A DEVELOPMENTAL ORIENTED NATION STATE
On the suspension of the COSATU General Secretary
On unity and cohesion of SADTU
On the 2016 local government elections
On COSAS and SASCO
PILLAR NUMBER 4
EFFECTIVE WORKER UNITY
On international balance forces:
PILLAR NUMBER 5
BUILDING A DELIVERY BASED ORGANISATIONAL CAPACITY
In relation to building the delivery based organisational capacity, we are re-affirming the Union`s 2013 vision in terms of organizational excellence as we believe that we owe it to the membership to ensure that we observe and abide by all the policies of the union and account for its resources at all times without failure.
As we mark World Teachers` Day we want to thank all the teachers for the commitment they have shown for the entire twelve years in learners` schooling life, preparing them for the final Grade 12 examination. We call on society and in particular the parents to support these learners during this time and afford them time and space required to prepare adequately.