Poor pay link to HIV lauded

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has applauded the link drawn between the poor salaries of teachers and the high HIV-Aids infection rates by the chief executive of the Human Sciences Research Council, Olive Shisana.

Shisana was quoted as having said last week that "poorly paid female teachers are forced to have multiple sexual partners to survive".

She was speaking in Cape Town at the Commonwealth education ministers conference.

Shireen Pardesi, Sadtu spokesman, said they had been at "logger heads with the Department of Education regarding salary hikes for teachers for a long time. Teachers are poorly paid".

But Lunga Nqengelele, departmental spokesman, disputed this.

"I believe it's one's own choice to have multiple sex partners and teachers salaries have got nothing to do with it," he said.