Pay delays irk teachers

MORALE is low at about 100 Mpumalanga primary schools because Grade R teachers have not been paid their August stipends.

Sowetan has established that at least 300 teachers in the KwaMhlanga area had not been paid their R2000 stipend for August.

Department of Education officials said they were aware of the problem and promised that the teachers would be paid soon.

"I nearly collapsed when I went to the ATM at month end to discover that I could not get any cash because there were insufficient funds in my account.

"I couldn't believe it. I have lots of debts and my first question was what am I going to tell the people I owe?" said one of the teachers.

"We are angry because no one said anything about the delay in payment. We worked so hard and this is the thanks we get from the department."

Provincial education department spokesperson Jasper Zwane blamed the delays on a technical error.

"Grade R teachers are not on our system and have to submit their invoices every month," he said.