Sadtu shuts down schools andgt;andgt; story continued on page 3

2015-05-20 06:00
Sadtu members disrupt traffic as they proceeded to the district offices.

Sadtu members disrupt traffic as they proceeded to the district offices.

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PUBLIC schools in KwaDukuza have been shut down since last Friday when the South African Democratic Teachers Union­ (Sadtu) went on a mass strike demanding the removal of the Department of Education’s iLembe district director Thembinkosi­ Vilakazi.

Local branches of the Progressive Youth Alliance, the ANC, SACP and Cosatu were part of the strike with the trade union and on Monday officially stating their support.

Sadtu has vowed to continue the mass action, which has put a halt to teaching and learning, until their demands are met.

Corruption and cronyism were among allegations levelled against Vilakazi.

She was also dubbed an incompetent­ leader by the union.

She is further being blamed for the shortage of books in some schools, and for some schools failing­ to pay for water and electricity.

Some schools don’t have security guards even though they have made several requests for them.

The absence of a district official to accept the union’s memorandum on Friday was viewed by members as intentional just to frustrate their efforts because Vilakazi­ was aware of the strike.

The memorandum was accepted­ by a representative from the Department of Education who reportedly did not want to engage with union members or comment on the situation.

Sadtu’s memorandum states that the relationship between the district director and the union is not cordial.

The memorandum lists the union’s “irritations” as follows: “DTTs - Vilakazi does not attend these [District Task Team] meetings [DTTs], where all unions come together and meet with senior management of the district to discuss the running of the district and take decisions that will impact schools].

Favouritism versus victimisation and racism.

Lack of proper planning, district has no year plan.

Poor learner performance.

No transparency in infrastructure improvement and maintenance.

No transparency in learner transport.

No transparency in awarding of tenders for school nutrition.

Meddling in the affairs of the union­.

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