Declaration of the National General Council of the South African Democratic Teachers Union SADTU)

The SADTU National General Council (NGC), which brings together the national, provincial and regional leadership of the Union, representing over 256,000 educators and education workers, met to review the programmes of the Union from the last National Congress held in 2010 and to plan the road ahead fully aware of the magnitude of the challenges confronting our education system in particular and education workers in general.

The National General Council was held under the National Congress mandating Theme: "Organise and Empower Education Workers to Deliver Free Quality Public Education and Build Socialism"

NGC resolved as follows:

In relation to Education in Creating a learning nation

NGC resolved

  • To restate our commitment for the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign, and in particular to commit ourselves to the non-negotiables, including that teachers must be on time, on task, thoroughly prepared and behave professionally in accordance with our code of conduct at all times. The Union unequivocally condemned the minority of teachers whose bad behaviour – particularly sexual abuse of learners - brings the profession into disrepute.
  • To monitor the Department of Basic Education to ensure that they speedily meet their non-negotiables in terms of the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign, including: to provide basic infrastructure, manageable class sizes, learning materials, supporting the teachers and education workers, and teacher development.
  • To reaffirm the union resolutions on the commitment to - empowering our membership through professional development, trade union and political education:
  • Professional development to train quality teachers to deliver free quality public education - and to this end we will engage with the Minister and Department of Basic Education to speedily implement the agreed upon national strategy for teacher development. In addition, the union has redoubled its commitment to get in to operation its own institute for professional development to provide quality training programmes for teachers and education workers in fulfilling its historic mission to create a new teacher and a new education worker to build Socialism.
  • To convene an Education Labour and Policy Conference before the end of March 2012 to interrogate all policies and programmes and the impact they have on our historic mission to achieving - The Peoples` Education for the Peoples` Power.
  • To engage the Department of Basic education to establish protocols for communication to all learning sites and stakeholders to avoid the haphazard manner in implementing ANA, CAPS and PANAs.
  • To condemn the unrealistic timelines that overload the system which results in the frustration of the teachers who are already demoralised by the lack of infrastructural improvement in the schools that serve the majority of our people who are the poor and the working class.
  • To call upon the government to show its commitment to the country`s number One priority, Education, 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
  • Adopt the campaign on adopting a school as part of the NEDLAC Accord,
  • To adopt the strategic plan in fulfilling its responsibility towards creating a learning nation by continuing the improvement of learning through the introduction of national building learning material, and engaging in extensive and teacher based research on the best possible methods of teaching and creating, through our classroom commitments, a nation that learns and advances its civilization within the African context

In relation to the building delivery based organisational capacity

NGC resolved

  • To adopt the 2030 Vision which calls upon the union to
  • Service its members by continuously redefining of the teacher conditions of service to be commensurate with the inflationary realities of the society we operate within which will be based on extensive research on appropriate conditions of service for a teacher in a developmental state,
  • Create a learning nation by improving the quality of the teaching process fully aware of the devastating legacy of apartheid teacher training based on class, gender and race.
  • Promote a developmental oriented nation state by reorienting membership to focus on national development objectives through learning content delivered to those entrusted to our care and creating a patriotic and revolutionary cadre of teachers and education workers and learners through socially cohesive programmes.
  • Build a delivery based organizational capacity by creating a SADTU Village that promotes organizational excellence in all fields of required management and creating an organiser capacity that sustains current membership levels and increase them to above 70% of the total teacher and education workers population in the country by the next national general council in 2012 and
  • Create international partnership by promoting international solidarity programmes that are based on SADTU core belief system.
  • Reaffirm the union resolutions on Organisational Renewal as adopted by the last Congress and previous national general councils in particular on recruitment and membership servicing,
  • Create a partnership with the Department of Health (DoH) and Social Development in their HIV / Aids programme in sustaining the current PPCT-OVC programme;
  • Cause the DoH and the Department of Social Development to fund the SADTU programme in order to continue our revolutionary work which has improved the wellbeing of the teachers and education workers both affected and infected by HIV/AIDS;
  • Engage and source funding from parastatals and donors to sustain the PPCT-OVC project post September 2012.

In relation to socio-economic and labour issues in servicing members

NGC resolved

  • That the NGC should direct the NEC to draw a detailed programme of implementation of all the previous Resolutions including the COSATU resolution on the living wage


  • To reject the Teacher Performance Appraisal in its current form;
  • To cause the ELRC to commission the study on the IQMS in order to identify the strengths and the challenges related to its implementation;
  • That Learner performance should not be included as part of appraising Educators
  • That there should be one performance appraisal system for all School-based Educators;
  • To insist on the re-packaging of the IQMS to reflect the de-linking aspect as resolved by the Teacher Development summit with a view of strengthening it by 2012; and
  • To refer the discussion on the performance appraisal and development to the Policy Conference on Labour and Education to be held before the end of March 2012


  • To cause the DBE to conduct proper training in the usage of laptop should they be provided
  • That the Department purchase the laptops taking into account the lifespan and technological relevancy of the product
  • That the laptop becomes the property of the Educator as tools of labour free of charge.
  • That the software installed should be relevant to the curriculum


  • Conditions of service of curriculum advisors be improved;
  • Sufficient curriculum advisors be employed and provided with necessary resources;
  • Roles of curriculum advisors should be clearly defined and determined at the national level to ensure uniformity in implementing advisory services and support to teachers.
  • Norms and standards for the provisioning of the Curriculum Advisors should be developed.


  • That the present collective agreement be reviewed and concluded by September 2012 when the Vote Weights shall be concluded and the number of Shop Stewards determined.
  • That all teachers be eligible to be appointed as Full Time Shop Stewards


  • We campaign for the adoption of inflationary system that ensures a balanced and true reflection of the inflation rate in the country that is biased to the working class and the poor.

In relation to international solidarity:

NGC resolved

  • SADTU to mobilise all MDM structures to condemn NATO`s attitude to Libya and promote the resolution of African problems by Africans
  • Support teachers and public servants of Libya in the transformation of their country

In relation to the political tasks of the union

NGC resolved

Disciplinary action against the leadership of the ANCYL

  • SADTU supports the Disciplinary action taken by the ANC in disciplining the current Leadership of the ANCYL
  • To condemn the conduct that is contradictory to the discipline of the ANC by some of the ANC NEC members, and support the resolution of the ANC NGC on organisational discipline in defence of the unity and cohesion of the ANC.
  • Reaffirm COSATU position which defined our task in the current conjuncture to be the defending of the ANC 52nd National Conference progressive resolutions and ensure that we embark on a series of campaigns to ensure their effective implementation. The political task of the working class in this conjuncture is to defend the leadership collective elected in this conference against those who have from inception launched campaigns to put this leadership on the back foot and who have undermined their authority.
  • SADTU must fight to defend the unity and cohesion of the SACP and COSATU as the left formation leading the working class struggle.

In relation to the ANC Centenary Celebration

  • That the NEC to adopt programme through which all structures will be mobilized and resourced with specific timelines in order to contribute to the achievement of the ANC Centenary celebration recruitment target of 1 million members.
  • That all structures to provide statistical information specifics on an audit of member ANC affiliation
  • Massive participation and visibility of union in the Jan 8th Centenary celebrations
  • The ANC Centenary celebration must be used to measure the extent to which conditions of service of education workers and the transformation of education has been improved.