SADTU condemns the Wanton Destruction and looting of Business and Infrastructure in South Africa

13 July 2021

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) has strongly condemned the wanton destruction and looting of businesses and infrastructure that first took place in KwaZulu Natal this past weekend before spreading to parts of Gauteng and other provinces.

The special meeting of the NEC of SADTU expressed the union’s full support of the announcement by State President Cyril Ramaphosa to bring in the army to support the police in quelling this violence. As it welcomed this, the NEC acknowledged that the police were overstretched, and the situation was worsened by the fact that government imposed a moratorium on the recruitment of police. It called on the army to be more visible execute their mandate to defend the sovereignty of our country against terrorism.

These destructions have brought to a standstill the lives of ordinary citizens and the economy. This would have dire consequence to the livelihoods of many who are going to lose jobs and those who are currently unemployed, would have lesser chances of gaining employment anytime soon. Vandalism will lead to unemployment and poverty.

Not only are businesses and infrastructure being targeted but pharmacies as well. Clinics, and hospitals have had to close down because as the required personnel could not reach their places of work. It is worth to mention that one of the more acute, immediate and life threatening consequences of this violence is the disruption of the COVID-19 vaccination programme which is meant to save lives of millions of South Africans. Four circuit offices of education in KwaZulu-Natal, have been torched.

The NEC said these upheavals were more than about criminality but were aimed at undermining the current government and to bring in regime change.  This regime change must be resisted and defeated. The NEC is appalled by the level lawlessness displayed by the looters and some political party leaders. The law enforcement agencies must act upon anyone inciting violence and bring such reckless and irresponsible individuals to book. It is only then that the criminals and looters will abide by the laws of our country.

 The Special NEC resolved that SADTU, as an affiliate of COSATU which is a member of the Alliance, would call on the Alliance to come up with a well-coordinated strategy to condemn and fight these thuggery and barbaric tendencies.

The NEC called on the ANC-led government to prioritize and address the socio-economic challenges facing our country, which we regard as one of the key reasons behind this thuggery.

The NEC still believe that a Basic Income Grant will be the best way to mitigate the devastating effects of poverty and unemployment. We urge the government to re-introduce the R350 poverty relief fund as one step towards realising our old demand of a basic income grant.

The NEC expressed support for the ANC’s organisational renewal process as the problem could not be isolated from the weaknesses of structures on the ground. We call on the ANC to respect and abide by its NEC decision to act against those who are inciting violence. The NEC bemoaned the lack of intelligence gathering in the country to have foreseen this upheaval and come up with proactive strategies to prevent this destruction.

The NEC supports the efforts of POPCRU in calling upon their members who are on leave to return to work in order to restore order and protect the citizens against a funded regime change agenda.  This is the time for our communities to come together and support our men and women in the SAPS and Army to defeat anarchy and vandalism.

The NEC is calling upon the communities to defend the country and the legitimacy of the government against the third force that is exploiting the vulnerable youth. The revolution must be defended at all costs because counter-revolutionary forces camouflaging as revolutionaries are killing babies when they shut down pharmacies and malls. These criminals are killing patients in hospitals and homes when they stop the healthcare workers from going to work. These agent provocateurs are killing the economy by torching water treatment plants and trucks.

As a union in the education sector, the special NEC renewed its call to government and the department of basic education to strengthen the curriculum to teach learners about patriotism and consciousness. The instigators of this violence are targeting the youth and using them to fulfil their own ends. The union has an obligation to safeguard the future of the country’s youth.

SADTU shall defend our country for the benefit of the future of her children. SADTU stands in solidarity with all the workers who are out there to save lives and serve the people.

SADTU denounces violence and vandalism. We abhor thuggery and looting and call on our people to unite and not allow criminals to undermine our freedom and democracy. The Constitution allows anyone to demonstrate peacefully.

We are in the fight against the deadly virus. We call upon our people to vaccinate, wear masks, wash hands and observe the social distance. We refuse to be part the suicidal mission of the looters.

On public service salary negotiations:

The special NEC welcomed the signing of the 2021/22 wage offer by SADTU at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council. This is in line with the directive from the members through a survey and deliberations with the leadership structures of the Union after appreciating the employer’s move from the 0% increase offer to 1, 5% pensionable increase and R978 cash gratuity. Members asked the Union to negotiate an improved cash gratuity amount; the employer reviewed it and offered between R1 200 and R 1 695 cash gratuity.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

CONTACT:

General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968

Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651

Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157