By: Sane Dhlamini
Creamer Media Researcher and Writer
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) on Wednesday heeded the call by labour federation the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to embark on a national strike next week on job losses, State capture and corruption.
“Sadtu members shall in their numbers, alongside their counterparts in the Federation, paint all the cities and towns red when we march on the 27th of September,” the union said in a statement.
The protected strike was prompted by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s ‘Secure In Comfort’ report which, the labour organisation said, revealed that the country had been captured and that there were some who were looting State resources and engaging in corrupt activities. Sadtu pointed out that the first casualties of State capture and corruption were workers who stood to lose jobs and have their hard-earned pensions looted.
“We can no longer tolerate this deafening silence from President Jacob Zuma to establish a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State capture as per the Public Protector’s recommendation,” Sadtu said.
The union demanded that Zuma establish the commission as a matter of urgency and asked that the State deal with the “predatory elite” and cancel all commercial dealings with the Gupta family.
Sadtu revealed that it would use the strike to push for a 0.5% pay progression for all education personnel in the basic and post schooling sectors to ensure parity in the public service.
The strike would also be used to demand safety in all learning institutions, the payment of rural posting and other incentives and the formalisation of conditions of employment of Grade R practitioners.
Sadtu also hopes to see the implementation of free higher education for the poor, an education tax directed at business to pay for higher education and the prohibition of profit making in education by “edu-prenuers”.
Collective bargaining by the Department of Higher Education and Training should be respected, the union added, concluding that the conditions of service of all Community Education and Training College educators should also be addressed.