SADTU EC media statement on the State of Education in the Eastern Cape

8 March 2022

The Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of SADTU Eastern Cape sat on the 07th of March 2022 and evaluated the progress made on the implementation of resolutions reached between the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDOE) and SADTU on matters relating to:

  • Non-delivery of LTSM and stationery (Where it is delivered, the issue of quality and quantity is questionable).
  • Non-payment of GSA’s, EA’s, and SST’s. This hinges on violation of fair labour practice wherein payment is to be affected within 30 days after a service has been rendered. These EA’s and GSA’s have efficiently discharged their responsibilities serving the employer who seem not to appreciate the excellent work done. As a revolutionary trade union, we cannot sit back and watch the victimisation of any worker by the employer party.
  • No provisioning of Scholar transport to many qualifying learners. This is made more glaring by the deliberate move of the employer by cutting down the number of learners that must benefit from the service of scholar transport. This leaves learners who aspire to be at school on time with fresh minds in destitute. Besides, these learners are in one way or the other subjected to considering dropping out of school as the best option than to expose themselves to attacks and endanger their lives going to and from schools. The list is long of learners who have either been raped, and some killed by serial killers while others have drowned trying to cross overflowing dangerous rivers making their way to school or home. Their families are still mourning to date. We therefore refuse to be spectators for ‘we care, we protect, and we denounce’ as SADTU.
  • Non-payment of monies owed to Scholar Transport Service providers. We view this as either intentional or unintentional deprivation of learners’ access to education. This is against the dictates of the Supreme law of this country.
  •  SADTU EC denounces this non-payment of tranches to schools as it makes it difficult for teaching and learning to take place to an extent of being impossible.
  • Bad condition of school infrastructure poses a danger not only to learners but to the entire school communities. This situation has been worsened by the tornado which occurred between November 2021 and January 2022. Some service providers appointed to build schools in the province have decided to lock those schools and chase away learners and teachers as well as parents.
  • Stripping School Governing Bodies off their powers through centralisation of all cost centres except for 10% cash payments is a violation of SASA prescripts more especially Section 21 schools who applied for and granted these functions. This defeats   the long-term objective of making schools self sufficient and independently run their affairs with less interference from the department. We view this as clinging into the old way of doing things when schools were still Section 20. We believe that the move by the department undermines the progressive move made by the ANC-led government since the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

The SADTU PEC resolved as follows:

  • Support attempts undertaken by the National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) and other stakeholders in education to ensure that the above demands are met.
  • SADTU is opposed to the sitting of meetings and conducting of workshops under the auspices of ECDOE at the level of District and CMC when we are still confronted by the abnormal situation in our sites.
  • We object, in totality, visits by Departmental officials including Parliamentarians to schools as they are quite aware of the prevailing situation in those sites but pretend as if all is well. Their behaviour is annoying and disgusting to the organisation.

On behalf of the more than 40 000 members of SADTU in the province, we wish to state categorically clear that there can be no normality in an abnormal situation. The Employer must do the most honourable thing that seeks to promote a conducive climate in our sites before it is too late. The first term of the year is nearing the end without much being achieved.

As SADTU, ‘WE CARE, WE PROTECT AND WE DENOUNCE.’

ISSUED BY: SADTU EC Secretariat

CONTACT: Provincial Secretary: Chris Mdingi

 Cell: 0605834462

Deputy Provincial Secretary:  Ntombodumo Maqashalala

Cell: 0605201447