SADTU calls for the Department of Basic Education to negotiate on changes in conditions of employment that may come as a result of the introduction of African Language policy in schools.

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) has welcomed the step towards fulfilling what has been our hearts’ cry – indigenous languages in our education system.   Since its inception, the Union has many a time called upon government to invest in the development of the Indigenous Languages and compel each school in the country to increase and strengthen the use of African languages in the education system. SADTU was also among the first organizations to congratulate the ANC when, during its 53rd national conference in Mangaung called for the teaching of indigenous languages in public schools to become compulsory from 2014.

The Department will in 2015 implement the Incremental Introduction of African Languages in Grade 1 and do so gradually until 2026 when it will be introduced in Grade 12. A pilot programme will be introduced in 2014 in Grade 1 to look at the practicalities of an extended school day, teacher provisioning models and support and the resources to support teaching and learning.

In the event of changing and to adapt to the teaching of indigenous languages, we urge the department to negotiate with the trade unions as required by our legislation and not expect that trade unions will comment as per the invitation to the public. Any amendment to conditions of employment must be negotiated. The department must help us to promote labour peace by respecting the rules of the negotiations game. The department cannot amend conditions of service – like hours of service – without negotiating these with us.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat