When Gladys Maphanga, a teacher in Mpumalanga, improved her qualifications in 1994 she hoped her salary would be adjusted upwards.
But that did not happen. Despite obtaining her teacher's diploma in 1994, Maphanga says she is still being underpaid.
Maphanga, a teacher at Umpopoli Primary School in KaBokweni, near Nelspruit, accuses the Mpumalanga education department, her employer for 30 years, of cheating her.
Maphanga says she obtained the teacher's diploma required by the educational qualification value in 1994, but was still being underpaid.
"According to my diploma I should be getting R124863 a year, but I am paid R108876," Maphanga says.
"I have been pleading with the education authorities since 1994 to adjust my salary to the correct notch, but I am being shunted from pillar to post.
"I am so depressed by this since it is affecting my pension fund, service benefits and salary increase.
"I have already spent a lot of money travelling between my school and the regional office only to be given negative answers."
Maphanga says the authorities told her that they did not trust the Azaliah College, where she had obtained her certificate. She says she is the only teacher with such a problem.
"I don't know why because the former KaNgwane homeland government recognised the qualifications of teachers who studied through the college," she says.
She says her family is also being affected by this "unpleasant situation".
"I am living in a rented four-roomed house with my unemployed children and grandchildren. As a single parent I find it very difficult to make ends meet.
"Upgrading myself was the only and best means of improving my financial status and lifestyle."
Jasper Zwane of the Education Department says the matter will be properly investigated.