Teachers' strike a tragedy - parents
Johannesburg - The National Association of Parents in School Governance (NAPSG) called the protracted public servants' strike at schools "a tragedy" on Thursday.
"The impact of this strike may affect the entire generation as the damage far outweighs the gains made by public servants, in particular the teachers," said NAPSG president Mahlomola Kekana.
The strike perpetuated the class system and inequality in South Africa, as the majority of South Africans could not choose between public and private schools, he said.
"As an association we are appalled by the lack of vision and leadership, in particular by the South African Democratic Teachers' Union's refusal to accept the latest offer by government in (the) salary increase and the housing allowance."
The NAPSG felt that workers were taking for granted the perks that the government paid them from taxpayers' money and that the more unskilled future workers were, the lower the future tax base would be.
It commended President Jacob Zuma for his instruction that ministers go back to the drawing board and said moves by opposition leaders for white teacher unions to go back to school was a step in the right direction.
"We are calling on the leaders who claim to represent the majority of black people to speak out against the strike.
"The longer this strike takes, the more we suspect sinister intentions from the labour movement of trying to bring down our country and initiate a revolution by the poor against the rich," said Kekana.
NAPSG wanted matric exams to be written as planned and asked the government to arrange for parents and volunteers to be invigilators during the preliminary and final exams.
"We are calling on all parents of all race groups to defy the strike and take their children to school throughout the country. We are calling on all governing bodies and principals to open schools with immediate effect."
Representatives of public servants were meeting at noon on Thursday to discuss the government's latest offer of a 7.5% increase with an R800 housing allowance as the strike goes into its third week.