SADTU statement on declaration of a National State of Disaster

16 March 2020

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) welcomes the declaration of a National State of Disaster as announced by State President Cyril Ramaphosa in order to curb the spread of COVID 19. We commend this decisive action.

As a union in the education sector, the decision to close down schools from Wednesday until after Easter holidays is a sigh of relief following our concern that Government was not being proactive with measures on curbing the spread of the virus and called on the Department of Basic Education to develop learning materials to empower both the learners and teaches about the pandemic.

We are going to engage further with the Department of Basic Education on Tuesday on the development of learning materials as per our request and the interventions we can implement after the Easter recess period.

In the same vein, we welcome the Guidelines for Childcare Facilities and Schools on COVID-19 issued by the Department last week.

We however feel that more could be done, hence our meeting with the Department on Tuesday.

The containment of the coronavirus is our collective responsibility and we call upon our members in all institutions of learning to observe the guidelines and actions as announced by the State President on Sunday evening. We call on both our teachers and learners to remain safe and prioritize hygiene even when they are at home. We urge them to focus on their work and develop some mechanisms to communicate and assist each other during this break.

Let us wash our hands with soap all the times at least more than 20 seconds, sanitize and clean surfaces. Let us observe the required distance and when coughing or sneezing, please cover your mouth with a tissue. Together, we can stop the spread of the virus.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat


General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi