Flashy ministers 'insensitive'

2009-09-10 22:30

Johannesburg - Ministers who bought flashy cars should have been more sensitive to the fact the country was in recession, ANC deputy secretary-general Thandi Modise said on Thursday.

"They should have bought cars considering... that we do have a recession... they should have been sensitive to that," she told the SA Democratic Teachers Union's (Sadtu) national general council in Benoni.

Modise said people in government jobs should know they were not permanent positions.

The tripartite alliance has been embroiled in a spat over the expensive cars purchased by Cabinet ministers.

Strength in the alliance

SA Communist Party leader and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande bought a R1.1m seven series BMW. ANC and SACP alliance partner, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, called on all Cabinet members who spent more than R1m on official vehicles to return them.

She also called on the Sadtu council to ask itself whether they wanted to keep the alliance between the ANC, the SACP and Cosatu strong.

"We must interrogate whether that strategic relationship of the alliance is still relevant," she said, adding that they should be frank with each other to build the alliance.

Modise said "disorganisation" was driving the many strikes in the country and "eating the movement up".

Not tolerating mediocrity

She bemoaned the country's skills shortage. Municipalities in the country were sorely in need of managerial and financial skills.

Turning to education, Modise urged teachers not to tolerate mediocrity among their ranks.

She chastised some sections of Sadtu who said teachers who abused children should not be named and shamed.

"The teacher is a guide, the teacher is a parent, the teacher is a marriage counsellor... the teacher is a moulder of young minds, the determiner of the future.

"The teacher is a role model. That is why some of us are hard on teachers," she said.

Education was the "biggest unifier" in South African society.

"Building a non-racist, non-sexist South Africa must start in the classroom."