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Teacher strikes to be banned

By Olebogeng Molatlhwa Political Reporter | 2013-02-05 06:59:29.0 | COMMENTS [ 31 ]

BATTLE lines have been drawn over the plan to declare teaching an essential service - a move that will ban teachers from embarking on strikes.

Senior ANC leaders yesterday warned that the ruling party would push ahead with plans to ban teacher strikes.

Secretary general Gwede Mantashe, the party's education and health sub-committee chairwoman Naledi Pandor and social transformation sub-committee chairwoman Lindiwe Sisulu vowed that the party would implement the plan.

The trio said the ANC national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla had over the weekend resolved to give this directive to cabinet, which is expected to implement the plan.

Although Mantashe cautioned against pre-empting decisions that would emerge out of the cabinet lekgotla, which is yet to take place, it is expected the NEC will hold sway.

Pandor is minister of home affairs while Sisulu is minister of public service and administration.

However, the party looks likely to first seek the buy-in of alliance partner Cosatu and its affiliate the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) before moving ahead with the initiative.

"We need to first deal with education as an essential service from an attitudinal point of view before we even talk about legislation," Mantashe said.

"Understand that when you threaten education, you don't necessarily threaten life and limb but you do threaten the growth and survival of the country."

The move is likely to lead to a confrontation between the government and teacher unions.

The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA (Naptosa) and Sadtu are opposed to the ANC's decision.

Naptosa president Basil Manuel yesterday said declaring teaching an essential service would not provide the "quick fix many are hoping for".

Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the move "is the wrong remedy" as this would not address the real problems in education.

Sisulu said: "The level of [teacher] absenteeism in education is shocking. It goes up to 50%.

"Teachers have to commit to changing their attitudes. There will be no progression in wage settlements until there is this agreement."

Among those declared as essential services are health professionals who work in medical facilities.

The level of teacher absenteeism in education is shocking

COMMENT BELOW: Do you think that teachers have a right to strike for their rights, or it's a good idea to ban strikes so teaching learners throughout their full school year become priority number one?


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I think ANC NEC was narrow minded,the problem is not striking teachers but unqualified teachers.How many times do teachers strike?Once I guess and the results remain the same.Lastly this thing of 20% passing mark is killing our education standard in South Africa.Lastly Angie Is not a good minister hence she must resign.Lastly I think we should merge public schools with private schools.

2013-02-05 07:13:35.0 | 0 replies

Is the ANC practising dictactorship? ANC must not forget that its the mass who are voting not the 4500 delegates who attended the conference. Sisulu must address the issue of wage increase in a proper manner that is satisfactory to workers and not to dictate terms as if she more powerfull than the voters. Next year its National elections and the ANC must be very carefull when taking such decisions. Loosing one vote can make a huge difference in future.

2013-02-05 09:04:49.0 | 0 replies

What ANC is doing to Teachers is to ignore the challenges and problems they (teachers) experience by extending or amending laws that will toughen the conditions teachers find themselves in,And that technique wont work bcos it pressurises teachers to get the work done and that means the very same challenges or problems are still unsolved and will affect teachers again and again and i feel that they(government) still havent done anything to change the situations and, The is a very high possibility that if they (teachers) feel the pressure is taken off they will relax back to the same old attitude, That they had before and the next time governent want them to work. They(governent) will have to put more nd more pressure on them(teachers) again after a while the pressure gets to have less nd less effects nd they (gornment) must have to use bigger threats nd bigger needles and the most disadvange thing is it usually turns ppl agaist their work bcos intrest wont be alive anymore..its a pity that ANC is now failing to come up with long term solutions and they are becoming more confusing even to themselves i always says too much info lead to confusion.

2013-02-05 09:43:34.0 | 0 replies

This teachers in the public sector are useless even if they force them to stay in school and not strike, I would never send my kids to these kaak schools run by COSATU, private schools is the way to go!!

2013-02-05 10:02:50.0 | 0 replies

Its not gonna happen its was just a publicity stunt. When question the minister admitted that they still have to consult with cosatu and again they will have to amend the labour law to declare education as an essential service. We are being duped into believing that the ANC cares about the people. The true goal of the ANC is to keep the poor uneducated so that they cannot think too much.
To you journalists you must stop being spokespersons of the government. Your job is to challenge the centers of powers

2013-02-05 10:08:51.0 | 0 replies

Why do Teachers subject themselves to this nonsense? I urge all teachers to boycott classes for at least a year and see what these irresponsible talkative parents and stakeholders will do; especially those that teach in these overcrowded and ill-disciplined schools.

And then SARS can apply on their behalf for Sequestration

Teaching in some SAcan schools is worse than shitting in a bucket.

2013-02-05 10:51:47.0 | 0 replies

Lip service.

2013-02-05 11:15:54.0 | 0 replies

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
Having teachers in classrooms does not equate to having kids being taught. They are in the classrooms right now but I can pretty much guarantee that there are a limited number of classrooms where actual teaching is being done.

2013-02-05 11:21:55.0 | 0 replies

A great move from the ANC! SADTU the 2nd largest Union in Cosatu doesn’t want to allow inspectors in schools. According to government figures, a fifth of teachers in public schools do not show up for work on Mondays, rising to a third at the end of the month. As a result, South Africa performs near the bottom of every international marker for literacy and numeracy, including those for the African continent – a region not renowned for quality schooling. This despite SA spending R190 billion a year, a fifth of the national budget, on education.(see

2013-02-05 12:08:15.0 | 0 replies

I personally support this, but i think the teachers are going to strike whether they are prohibited from striking or not. But we will see how that will pan out in terms of implementation as we alll know that implementation is always a problem. E tla re re ke dipitsi ra bona ka mebala.

2013-02-05 13:46:57.0 | 0 replies

Lip service.
Lip Ice

2013-02-05 15:41:00.0 | 0 replies