Bitterness as claims mount that promises of remuneration for participating in the recovery plan have come to nought
About 1000 Mpumalanga teachers who took part in the education department's recovery plan have still not been paid.
The teachers said they were promised R3000 to work on weekends after last year's public servants strike when thousands of workers downed tools over a pay dispute.
Teachers in most schools did not work during the strike, prompting the department to initiate a recovery plan campaign in which teachers were asked to work overtime.
But yesterday some teachers came to Sowetan's offices complaining that they had not been paid as promised.
"The department promised that an amount of R3000 would be paid to teachers to participate in the recovery plan," said one affected teacher.
"We were told that R1500 would be paid on December 15 and the other half by January 15, but nothing has happened and no one is saying anything," said the teacher.
He said the names of all the teachers who took part in the plan were sent to the head office in Nelspruit before schools closed last year, but were disappointed when the money was not deposited as promised.
Bonakele Majuba, provincial chairman of South African Democratic Teachers Union, said the organisation was aware of the matter and had met with the department, which promised that the teachers would be paid by the 10th of this month.
"These teachers worked tirelessly and deserve to be paid," said Majuba.
"We are baffled that the department was so efficient in deducting salaries of the teachers when it applied the no-work no-pay principle after our members took part in the strike, but were not so efficient when they were supposed to pay them for their services."
Hlahla Ngwenya, the education department spokesman, attributed the delay to an error in some of the claim forms.
"There was outstanding information in some forms which we have sent back to schools for correction."
He said teachers who had rectified their information would be paid before the end of this month.