Eastern Cape tackling teacher vacancies

2012-06-11 22:00
Johannesburg - The non-payment of temporary teachers and the failure to fill 7 500 posts is being attended to, the Eastern Cape education department said on Monday.

"Concrete steps are currently being taken to ensure that this matter is laid to rest, and the functionality of our schools is fully restored through the required resourcing," said department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani.

The matter was receiving the attention of Eastern Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula, acting education department head Mthunywa Ngonzo, and former Mpumalanga education department head Ray Tywakadi, he said.

The department was responding to a call made by the Democratic Alliance on Monday to address the issue.

MP Edmund van Vuuren said the DA was seeking an urgent meeting with the portfolio committee on education to demand "concrete and final answers" on these matters.

"Morale among teachers is at an all time low... stress levels are unbearable, banks are repossessing vehicles and homes, and people have been blacklisted because they have not received their salaries," he said in a statement.

Van Vuuren claimed temporary teachers appointed in January had not been paid and the department had failed to fill 7 500 substantive vacant posts.

In addition, about R68m in outstanding leave gratuities had not been paid to retired teachers.

"There have been so many different responses from the department. No one is coming with a definite message," Van Vuuren said.

"One wonders how the MEC [Mandla Makupula] and his secretary general would cope without pay for six months."

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