Fill teachers’ posts immediately – court

2011-10-28 07:15

The Bhisho High Court has upheld an order that the Eastern Cape education department must immediately fill 6 249 mainly vacant temporary teaching posts.

The department, already facing a massive R2.8 billion shortfall, would have to find another R712 million to fund the appointments, which it warns would have a disastrous effect on the provincial fiscus, the Dispatch Online reported.

The court rejected the education department’s application to rescind an earlier high court order in terms of which Education MEC Mandla Makupula and Superintendent-General Modidima Mannya were effectively ordered to immediately fill 6 249 temporary teacher posts.

The department failed to heed the July court order, according to the report. Judge Gloria Mjali went a step further and granted a counter-application by three provincial schools – PJ Olivier in Grahamstown, Bergsig School in Uitenhage and Settlers Park Primary School in Port Elizabeth – in which she ordered the department to immediately fill the temporary posts.

The Federation of School Governing Bodies (Fedsas) and the SA Teachers Union (SAOU) hailed the order as a victory for all Eastern Cape schools.

The two organisations said the department had filled just 2 000 temporary teaching posts since the beginning of the year.

In court papers, Mannya warned that filling what he estimated would amount to a further 6 249 posts from August to December this year would have required at least a further R712 million, which the department did not have.

Mjali did not give reasons for her order. Education spokesperson Loyiso Pulumanj said the department would await her reasons before “considering their options”.

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