Declaration of the
National General Council of the
South African Democratic Teachers Union
26 – 28 October 2012
Premier Hotel, Kempton Park, Gauteng Province

The SADTU National General Council (NGC), which brings together the national, provincial and regional leadership of the Union, representing over 256,000 educators and education workers, met to review the programmes of the Union from the 2010 National Congress and 2011 National General Council respectively and to plan the road ahead fully aware of the magnitude of the challenges confronting our education system in particular and education workers in general.

The National General Council, convened under the National Congress mandating Theme:

“Organise and Empower Education Workers to Deliver Free Quality Public Education and Build Socialism” met during challenging times in our struggle and noted that the National Democratic Revolution was at crossroads and that the working class was called upon to drive the country’s vision to build a better life for all.  Confronted with these challenges the NGC deliberated on pertinent issues ranging from the political chemistry, socio-economic, international and Organisational.

In relation to creating a learning nation

The NGC resolved

On the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign

The NGC re-affirmed as follows:

  • To restate our commitment for the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign, and in particular to commit to the non-negotiables, including that teachers must be on time, on task, thoroughly prepared and behave professionally in accordance with our code of conduct at all times.  The union unequivocally condemns the minority of teachers whose bad behaviour – particularly sexual abuse of learners – brings the profession into disrepute. 
  • This particular campaign(QLTC) must be led by the President of South Africa. 

On the back to Public Schooling Campaign

  • That we declare our  commitment to improving quality public education by defending the education budget and call upon government to levy multinational corporations to invest in public education without imposing its capital values, in particular the development of infrastructure that will provide quality learning and teaching and call upon the department of education to provide relevant LTSM on time.
  • That there be a qualified teacher in front of learners on the first day of schooling in 2013 and each year thereafter, and
  • That all substantive vacant posts occupied by the temporary teachers be made permanent before the end of the 2012 in order to ensure that there are no disruptions at the begnning of the school year, and
  • That all vacant substantive posts in the public service be filled to improve sevice delivery to our people
  • Further that FET, ABET and ECD sectors be prioritised in terms of the improvement of the conditions of service as well as the recurriculation process that will usher in quality and relevant skills required to build a nation  

On Teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS

  • That the curriculum of life orientation emphasise issues of risky sexual behaviour.
  • That we continue our efforts in fighting the scourge of HIV/AIDS amongst our members and communities at large.
  • That the consultation process on the integrated health services targeting learners in the poorest of schools be intensified.

In relation to building the delivery based organisational capacity
The NGC resolved
On Communication

  • That we commit to improve our communication strategy by employing the modern tools in order to ensure a quicker and effective dissemination of information;
  • That we continuously update our website and encourage our members to use the site to enrich their knowledge and advance our education discourse.

In relation to servicing union members
The NGC resolved:
On socio-economic and labour issues
On the implementation of Collective Agreement 1 of 2012 of PSCBC

  • That an urgent collective bargaining council of the PSCBC be convened to deal with the issue of time lines with intention to speedily conclude issues of housing and remuneration policy, considering that educators are to be prioritized on the matter of remuneration.
  • That the management plan of the PSCBC on all process issues be finalized as a matter of urgency so as to expedite the implementation thereof.

Closure/Merger of schools

  • That we call for a moratorium on the closure of schools and call upon the Department of Basic Education to provide the comprehensive plan on the resourcing of education;
  • That we further  call for an audit of all existing schools and their proximity to the communities they are intended to serve.   


  • That we call for the enforcement and full implementation of the agreement as a matter of urgency
  • That we take the necessary steps to defend collective bargaining that is under attack by the department of education by renegging on binding collective agreements
  • That the investigation processes as based on the Presidential Task Team findings be accelerated and necessary disciplinary actions be taken against those found guilty of acts of misconduct and
  • Further that corruption that steals from the poor and destroy our social fabric be condemned and exposed at all levels both in public sector and private sector

In relation to international solidarity:
The NGC resolved
On imperialism and neo-colonialism

  • That we acknowledge the departure by South Africa from colonial based international relations which are dominated by Europe and the US into the new relations of interdependents within BRICS. 
  • That these relations must however be worked on in ensuring the export based and import dependence of the SA economy is changed into one based on downstream beneficiation of our primary products within SA and focused on developing manufacturing industries as dominant feature of our economic focus. 
  • That we put SA on the new and different developmental path which focuses on the dialectical relationship of growth and development as opposed to the growing dependence on growth rate (inflations targeted based on growth).
  • That the posture of our international relations should therefore focus on regional development as part of the African development agenda.

On austerity measures in the Eurozone

  • That we pledge our solidarity with all the workers and teachers in the eurozone who are brutalised by austerity measures imposed on the economies of their countries by the ‘ Austerity Troika’: an alliance of international lenders” which consists of  IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank.
  • That we condemn education budgets cuts that will lead to the de-professionalisation of the teaching profession and create a huge burden to the poor and working class families

In relation to the promotion of development orientated nation state
The NGC resolved

On the role and impact of NGO’s in Education

  • That a stern warning should be send to civil society organizations of all shapes and sizes that we will not accept a situation in which they are used as proxies to pursue certain political agendas.
  • That an effective strategy be developed to counter act the unprecedented offensive on the democratic state from certain elements of civil society.
  • That we consistently sensitise society about the dangers of imperialist neo
  • Liberal forces masquerading as NGOs as these will only serve to erode the progress of the national democratic revolution thus far.
  • That we engage and assist strategic allies such as SANCO to occupy their space within the civil society space ideologically and otherwise.   

On political tasks of the union and the role of Educators and Education workers in the liberation struggle

  • That South Africa’s children through peoples education for peoples power be conscientised about the importance of the liberation struggle and fight against ignorance in order to arm them with the tools to usher in complete emancipation of our people.
  • That we ensure that the next generation of South Africans is politicised and made aware of its patriotic and internationalist duty to defeat all Imperialist predators.
  • That the children are taught to promote peace and to oppose war.
  • That we preserve and pass on the revolutionary history of South Africa and of the international anti-Imperialist struggle to all young people of our country.
  • That we counter the negative ideological propaganda of the South African mass media, of the political tourists, and of the disloyal, pro-Imperialist opposition.
  • That we preserve the unity of SADTU and COSATU with the ANC, SACP, SANCO and progressive women of our country, and constantly to explain the necessity of our organic, national, democratic, anti-Imperialist unity to young people.


On mobilising for Elections 2014

  • That an Alliance Political Secretariat be resuscitated in order to strengthen relations and develop a concerted programme of cadre development.
  • That the Alliance Political Secretariat work on the challenges in service delivery in municipalities to curb uprisings in communities and ensure accountability from councillors.
  • That all structures of SADTU engage in educating learners about the history of our country as part of the preparations for the 2014 elections
  • The Campaigns Committee be charged with a responsibility to develop a clear political elections programme. 

  On Counter-revolutionary formations

  • That all members of SADTU who are also cadres of the ANC must dissociate themselves from identified groupings that thrive on divisions and anarchy.
  • That SADTU members encourage learners and the youth to actively participate in the activities of progressive youth formations namely, COSAS, SASCO, YCLSA and ANCYL.

On Marikana and Support and Solidarity with NUM

  • That we pledge continued Solidarity and the defence of the National Union of Mine Workers at all material times.
  • That Bargaining and Negotiation for Salaries and other conditions of Service of workers be the responsibility of legitimate parties only as required by law and no other members of the Public.
  • That we reaffirm the universally accepted labour relations principles of majoritarianism in bargaining and the provisions that, only recognised unions can negotiate salaries and conditions of service for workers at bargaining councils.
  • That Collective Bargaining should remain central in resolving all the labour related issues with regard to salaries and other conditions of service and 
  • Further that violence be condemned and that the police provide security to workers and speedily apprehend perpetrators of violence

On the question of leadership

  • That we commit ourselves as part of the left axis to leading the radical interventions that will lead to the transformation of our socio-economic outlook as required. It is our firm view that it is only through a united, cohesive leadership collective and working class bias National Executive Committee of the ANC that this can be achieved. We thus want to unambiguously declare our full support for the collective as led by comrade president Jacob Zuma and the secretary general comrade Gwede Mantashe to lead us towards the second phase of the transition moment.

On the message to the 2012 Grade 12 Class

  • We thank all the teachers for the commitment they have shown for the entire twelve years, preparing these learners for this important moment. We call on society and in particular the parents to support these learners during this time. Let us afford them enough time and space to prepare for these examinations.
  • We further urge the learners to focus on their preparations and avoid unnecessary destructions.
  • We remain confident that those learners from the Northern Cape who could not attend school for almost four months will be given all the needed support to allow them to write their final year examination and looking forward to their success.


“Organise and Empower Education Workers to Deliver Free Quality Public Education and Build Socialism” met during challenging times in our struggle and noted that the National Democratic Revolution was at crossroads and that the working class was called upon to drive the country’s vision to build a better life for all. Confronted with these challenges the NGC deliberated on pertinent issues ranging from the political chemistry, socio-economic, international and Organisational.