The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) has welcomed with open arms, the ANC’s election manifesto delivered by President Jacob Zuma in Mpumalanga on Saturday.

We hope and trust that the manifesto which focuses on among others, education, health, rural development, decent work, sustainable housing and basic services, building integrated human settlements, etc. will bring change to the lives of many South Africans in the next five years.

As a union in education we welcome the plans for education. The emphasis on teacher development means a lot to us as it shows political commitment that is crucial to take things forward.

We also welcome the ANC’s commitment to free education at all levels in the next five years.  The implementation of free education will ensure the eradication of illiteracy and unemployment.

We welcome the plans to formalize the employment conditions for the early childhood development teachers. We will ensure that collective agreement to this effect is concluded as a major of urgency.
We also commend plans to introduce further safety programmes in schools. This will ensure that more children will attend schools where they are safer.

We welcome the opening of two new universities in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape, a University of Science in Gauteng and the expansion of FET Colleges by establishing 12 new colleges. We further call for the revitalization of the FETC sector as a preferred stream of development for our learners. This is a stream that must be encouraged from the early stages of our learners’ secondary education so that our human development path can respond adequately to our socio-economic development needs.

We are looking forward to the introducing of the NHI that must be administered by government and outsourced to private providers like GEMS to ensure that everyone has access to health services. GEMS is failing the public servants who have to dig deep into their pockets to pay bills as a result of limited benefits because it is privately administered for profit making. We echo the President’s words that we don’t want to see any poor South African dying because they can’t afford treatment.

We welcome efforts to fight corruption through the establishment of a tender board to adjudicate on tenders and the prohibition of public servants from doing business with the state and the expulsion from the ANC members who are found guilty of crime.

Plans and promises to create jobs and skilling opportunities for the youth are good to hear about, however the youth wants to see these happening in their life time. We hope the manifesto does not end as words on paper but a reality. We want the delivery of the 6 million jobs promised.

We call upon all our members to mobilize for a two-thirds majority election victory in order to consolidate the working class power and deepen our democracy.

We commend the ANC for being the biggest and the oldest political movement in the continent. Long live ANC, Long Live!

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat