A bitter row has erupted between the Limpopo Department of Education and principals over salaries.
At the centre of the row is the fact that the department allegedly did not consult principals when they took a decision about their salaries.
Only teacher unions were represented but because, say principals, they do not have an official union to represent them, they were left out of the decision process.
In an Education Labour Relations Council resolution dated March 16 last year stipulates that a principal's salary is determined by the grading of a school. The grading of a school is done in accordance with the number of teachers' posts allocated to it in terms of the national norm.
Departmental spokesman Ndo Mangala said the resolution was taken in consultation with teachers' unions and said that principals were members of unions.
But some of the principals claimed the department had failed to recognise a union representing them, the South African Principals' Association (Sapa). This on the basis that Sapa had a membership that was too low to qualify for recognition.
"We oppose the grading system based on the enrolment of pupils. This system prejudices schools in less populated communities where pupil enrolment will obviously not grow," said a source, who wished to remain anonymous.
"This system lowers the morale of principals working in schools with fewer resources."