Happy 25th Anniversary to SADTU

COSATU Media Statement

6 October 2015

On this day, 6th October 1990, a giant teachers union was born in the belly of the apartheid beast, to challenge the racist and evil system of oppression. We salute our militant and progressive affiliate, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) on their 25th anniversary, and we also take the time to salute all teachers in South Africa and around the world.

The history of SADTU is the history of the struggle against apartheid itself. Many teachers under apartheid were discriminated based on the colour of their skin, their class and gender. SADTU was one of the first Trade Unions which unpacked the unity of opposites in the implementation of the concept of professionalism versus Trade Unionism.

They fought vigorously for recognition of the Union under draconian laws imposed by the apartheid regime on our education system.

SADTU rose up to challenge the apartheid segregations laws in the provision of education through its Bantu Education legislation. It led the battle for the amalgamation of former Bantustan departments into one National Department of Education. They have been leading the transformation agenda of education ever since.

SADTU since its inception has registered great strides in the education fraternity in particular but also in the evolution of Trade Unionism in South Africa.

They have enabled teachers to occupy their rightful place by articulating their positions on national issues and are leading the fight against pay parity which was based on race, gender and location of teachers.

Today, SADTU remains the largest Trade Union in the education sector because it has invested its energies and resources over years to teacher’s development, membership empowerment and the promotion of arts, culture and sports within its rank and file.

There are still various educational backlogs which must be tackled in order to achieve the goal of an empowered education system that meets the demands of the 21st century. SADTU remains at the forefront of those struggles and is still instrumental in ploughing the seeds of excellence in the knowledge production economy.

As learners are preparing for final examinations, COSATU wishes all learners and teachers in their quest of empowering all future leaders.

May this giant teacher’s union grow from strength to strength.

Happy Birthday SADTU!

Forward with free, quality public education for All!

Issued by COSATU