Sadtu must unite to strengthen ANC and alliance – Jacob Zuma

2014-10-02 14:53

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If the tripartite alliance isn’t united, there will be no “national democratic revolution”, President Jacob Zuma has said.

Speaking at the eighth congress of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) in Boksburg today Zuma urged delegates to pay attention to uniting the union.

This, he said, will in turn strengthen the alliance and the ANC.

The ANC is in an alliance with the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Sadtu, which will elect new leaders during the course of the congress, is fraught with internal strife and divisions.

Some of these stem from the suspension last year of the union’s president Thobile Nthola.

Nthola was suspended for throwing in his lot with Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu’s general secretary, who was serving his own suspension at the time. Vavi had been suspended for sleeping with a junior colleague.

“You need to build a stronger Sadtu, which will continue to support the ANC. Keep focus on strengthening and building the ANC, so that it will focus on building the country,” Zuma said.

The president said that all revolutions face problems at some point

“At times they retreat or collapse. The critical thing is how they respond to those challenges. The unity of the alliance, Cosatu, its affiliates and the ANC is key to success in reaching our destination.”

He said he was confident that Sadtu would overcome its own challenges.


Zuma stressed that schools should be centres of excellence.

“They should promote effective teaching and learning as nonnegotiables. Teachers and learners should be in class, teaching and learning for at least seven hours every day of the week. Education is a societal issue and we can’t expect teachers to do it on their own.”

At its 52nd conference in Mangaung the ANC promised to establish a commission to look into the employment of teachers and health workers. The commission, which is chaired by former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, has begun its work, Zuma said.

Education, he said, is a type of struggle.

“Education is struggling against unemployment, inequality and poverty.”

He said schools should prioritise the teaching of indigenous languages and encourage pupils to learn as many of them as they can as a means to foster social cohesion. Schools should also adopt history as a compulsory subject in order for pupils to understand where the country comes from, Zuma said.


South Africa has achieved much since 1994, Zuma said, adding that no country in Africa has been able to achieve what South Africa has achieved. He said that most of the service delivery protests sweeping across the country were a result of people realising that other communities were receiving services, but not them.

He said other African countries didn’t experience protests because people were not promised any services.

“After independence, they were asked to fend for themselves. But we said we will look after the poor and the working class,” Zuma said.

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