SADTU Eastern Cape Media Statement on the reopening of schools

24 May 2020

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) in the Eastern Cape wishes to accept and appreciate the engagement between the employer and the stakeholder on 23 May 2020. This statement is informed by the promise we made in the circulated PWC decisions on 22/05/2020 that we will engage and advise in relation to Instruction 17 Issued by Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDOE).

We wish to appraise members that the consequences of our engagements with the employer as of 23 May 2020, we managed to arrive at the decision that Instruction 17 be reviewed hence the issuing of Instruction 18.  As point of emphasis,  we realised that first steps have not been taken and we therefore caused the employer to be considerate of those first steps as dictated by Covid-19 regulations at level four of lockdown, the minister of DBE’s  emphasis of safety first and Circular 18 of DPSA dictates informed that we insist on the reviewal of instruction 17. We therefore call upon every member to fully comply with Circular 18 of ECDOE dated 23 May 2020. SADTU Eastern Cape therefore has at least tried to push for prioritization of safety of workers under the given difficult and trying conditions.

We care about the lives of the teachers, children and the support staff that happen to be in schools. To us, “One death is one too many”. We therefore cannot afford to be reckless at this stage of COVID19. We are all in this together. We have received confirmation of clear training/orientation programmes, guarantee on availability of psychosocial support for all, delivery of water tanks and water, clear plans for sanitation issues, clear plan on smooth running of scholar transport, social distancing and staffing/personnel matters, guarantee on Tablets and Study guides when learners return to school, ablution facilities etc.  We further acknowledge those matters referred to as process matters

We call upon all our Site stewards, Branch Secretaries, Regional Secretaries, Principals, SMTs and SGBs to work together and be vigilant on the ground in ensuring that the right thing is done to save lives such as the delivery of PPEs and all that forms part of SADTU’s 14 non-negotiables for the reopening of schools.  As law abinding citizens we call upon every member to ensure that Covid-19 regulations are not violated. Let us defeat lip service commitments or plans that are never executed.

To learners, parents and communities in general, as a caring organisation in these trying times, we wish to say we are with you and lets journey together as we believe that this will be over too. We shall all be proud for having preserved souls.  The situation is very fluid and we must not risk at all.

ISSUED BY: SADTU EASTERN CAPE SECRETARIAT

CONTACT:  Provincial Secretary,

Chris Mdingi:  060 583 4462

Zodumo Maqhashalala : 0605201447