Sadtu mulls another picket over KZN teacher shortage
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DURBAN - DESPITE picketing outside the Education Department offices in Pietermaritzburg over the shortage of teachers, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) said they have received no feedback.
When Sadtu handed a memorandum to Premier Sihle Zikalala and Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu at the Moses Mabhida building in Pietermaritzburg, the pair were given seven days to respond.
Sadtu provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said the union sent a letter to Zikalala’s office again on Wednesday.
Among the issues in the memorandum were the unfilled vacant teacher posts at schools.
“In the absence of a response, the union will consider another picket, for the premier to respond on the streets,” said Caluza.
Spokesperson in the Office of the Premier, Gugu Sisilana, said: “The Office of the Premier has clear and open lines of communication with its stakeholders. We will not be in a position to breach that protocol and respond through the media.”
National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) chief executive Thirona Moodley said it had engaged with the department, requesting the actual number of vacancies that remain unfilled.
“Naptosa did raise this again with the consultation with the MEC, on the staffing of schools for 2022, and we were told to focus on 2022, not 2021,” she said.
Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the M EC was on record asking for money from the province in this regard, and recently the department met with the National Teachers’ Union, where it was discussed that budget cuts impacted on the matter.
Earlier this year, the department received R413 million from National Treasury, while it received R700m in the third Adjustment Appropriation bill of 2021, in the legislature.
MEC Mshengu wrote to the premier asking for a further R377m to get the 817 new teachers needed by a new curriculum, that prioritises science, maths and vocational studies.
DA MPL Imran Keeka said the department’s finances were in ruins and it would not be able to fill 6 114 posts in the current fiscal climate.