Curro dismisses discrimination allegations at top school

2018-07-01 12:01
Curro Roodeplaat School in Pretoria is seen. (Theana Breugem, Gallo Images, Foto24, file)

Curro Roodeplaat School in Pretoria is seen. (Theana Breugem, Gallo Images, Foto24, file)

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Curro on Saturday said an independent investigation into alleged discriminatory practices at its Waterfall Primary pre-school has found the claims "factually erroneous".

This after the Mail and Guardian on Friday reported allegations by staff and parents alleging "racist labour practices", which resulted in three black teachers resigning.

According to the report, one teacher told the publication that teaching assistants - apparently all black - used different staff rooms to teachers, who were white. This ostensibly changed after complaints from parents.

The woman also alleged to the newspaper that once she qualified, her promotion was delayed while "less-qualified white people were appointed teachers".

Another woman claimed to have resigned because less qualified white staff earned more than she did, while another claimed children were told not to call black staffers "teacher".

According to the report, 20 parents probed the allegations and found salary discrepancies and "unhappiness about the culture at the school".

Meetings reportedly took place and a letter was sent to the Curro chief executive.

Curro stakeholder engagement officer Joy Smith told News24 on Saturday that an independent investigation was conducted and the report "refutes the allegation that there are salary discrepancies due to the race of staff members".

When asked when the investigation had been conducted and how many people were part of the investigation team, Smith would not provide further comment.

She said teachers and assistants gathered in the staff rooms at different times as they had different lunch break schedules, and that Curro had never prevented any employee from joining a trade union as it engaged with numerous unions.

"Curro does not tolerate any discriminatory practices, such as racism, in terms of its internal policies. Immediate action will be taken against any individual guilty of such practice."

She said it was "most unfortunate" that media houses had pursued this line of reporting, and the school reserved its rights to recourse without prejudice.

The allegations did not concern Curro Waterfall Primary, and "schooling has continued as usual", Smith said.

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