Media Statement presented at a media briefing to announce SADTU KwaZulu Natal's plan for Sports in the province

6 September 2018

SADTU in KwaZulu Natal convenes this media briefing to share with her general membership and the public at large her direct involvement in community activities designed to lift our people out of miseries and poverty created by an uncaring system of capitalism. The PEC of SADTU in December 2017 mandated the leadership to embark on activities and programmes that reflect the true character of SADTU as a revolutionary organisation whose struggle for social change should manifestly go beyond the four walls of the classroom.

It was for this reason that we took it as our immediate task to be alive to the call to contribute 67 minutes of our time to honour the great work of Tata Nelson Mandela in July 2018. Driven by the passion, love and care for the downtrodden that Tata Madiba showed to the world over, we mobilised resources in his honour. We built and furnished two houses for a child- headed family in Nkandla to the value of over R450 000. Educators vicariously absorb the pains of our needy learners and it becomes important that all our members should see the problems of the societies they serve through the eyes of the learners in their classes. As a caring organisation, we further committed to monitor and continuously ensure the development of the learners and the entire household. We also provided funding for one of the siblings to attain a skill so that he can access job opportunities.

The educational journey we seek to travel with our learners across the province, aided by communities, is diverse and concentrates on the holistic development of a learner. It is our considered view that schools have a responsibility of developing learners in many ways. It is common course that schools are regarded as places where learners are developed academically. It is an undoubted reality that not all learners are gifted academically, therefore it follows that the holistic development of learners should mean that schools must assist in talent identification, nurturing and growth.

Over the weekend SADTU shall host sporting events to prepare and remind her members about the centrality and the value of sports and extra-curricular activities in schools. In our troubled communities where violence has gripped schooling environment, we believe that deepening the love and involvement in sports can be of great value to redirect learners' attention to a positive future.

Tata Nelson Mandela said "Sports has the power to change the world, it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sports can create hope where once there was only despair."

With these sporting events, we hope to inspire our members who in turn should do the same in their institutions. We believe sport will unite our learners and communities to fight the scourge of violence and instability in schools. We shall further continue to emulate Madiba by mobilizing needed resources in order to change lives and instill hope where despair has occupied the minds of our people. During these sporting events over the weekend, SADTU will hand over a monetary donation to one of South Africa's soccer legends and Banyana Banyana player, Makhosi Luthuli, who has been battling with cancer. We do this knowing very well that she has been assisted. However, understanding that there are also post operation medical expenses, we saw it fit to make a donation. Madiba did it for all of us we should dare not fail to do it for our sons and daughters of the soil. Cde Makhosi Luthuli cannot be in despair in our presence.

The spirit of Tata Nelson Mandela lives in this union.

All what we are doing as, the organization, is based on the fact and understanding that our legends have a bigger role to play in developing sports in the country. For them, it must not be about getting in and out of the field but engaging in programmes that seek to build and grow new legends.

Turning to our schools, SADTU's vision is to see all schools, regardless of their financial standing and location, giving equal opportunities to learners to identify and grow their talents. A learner spends twelve years behind the desk before he goes to an institution of higher learning. This alone further explains the argument we are currently advancing that more resources must be put in primary and secondary schools if the status quo is to be tempered with. Poor and unsatisfactory performance of all our national teams is a reflection of lack of proper sporting development.

Schools in disadvantaged communities, still do not have the resources, equipment and a pool of educators dedicated to develop a learners in sports. As a developmental state, issues of sports must be reflected in all programmes to develop people. These are the critical issues we should pay attention to. The notable inequalities depict a country with two nations:

  • In the previously disadvantaged schools which is where the children of the working class are, it is still rare to find learners exposed to different sport codes, there is a notable lack of sports fields of the required standard.
  • Advantaged schools like Former Model C have different sporting codes, specialists are employed solely to coach learners in the sport of their choice. This is not the case in the majority of our schools.

The Role of the Teacher and particularly a SADTU member

For now, the teacher has a very critical role to play in assisting learners to participate in different sporting activities. Our view remains that teachers who belong to SADTU which is a majority Union have a more critical role to play. It is for this reason that teachers themselves are given an opportunity to participate in various sporting activities. SADTU strongly agrees with the notion that a healthy body yields a healthy mind. Teachers are working under very stressful environments because of the terrible working conditions. Lack of safety in their work expose them to all sorts of attacks, humiliation, assault and sometimes killings. It goes without saying that teachers need time to relieve the stress and depression they have. The union is organising sporting events for teachers to provide them a platform to distress. In the process the Union kills two birds with one stone in that as teachers play, they become active, healthier and motivated. The games will enable them to assist in developing talent in learners.

In our schools teachers are everything when it comes to sports; they are coaches and organisers but are not specialists. However, for the love of sport and that of their learners, teachers assume the mandate of being the jack of all trades.

How can the current situation be addressed?

Our call as SADTU is for a close, practical working relationship between the department of Sports & Recreation and Education. These two departments are supposed to be developing programmes together so that they provide a solution to the current challenges.

SADTU holds a firm view that the country must take pride of the talent that is scattered all over and use it effectively and productively. The talent we are referring to is the skill that is with our professional players - current and former. Why can't our departments attach them to schools if we all agree that there is a need to develop school sport? Our teachers, whilst they are trying their level best, also need to be guided by those who are qualified in the game.

As a commitment to assisting our learners and further developing the skills of our teachers SADTU has forged relations with our legends. The relations we seek to build are not meant to be event based, but are programme-based and should run throughout the year so that we can see the fruits of our labour. All what we are saying to our legends is that the union values what God gave you and we want to create a platform for you to further assist and develop the next generation of legends. You have travelled the country and the world now here is the platform for you to lift others to do the same.

We are going to visit two schools in Hammersdale: Mophela Primary School whose soccer team went to USA to represent South Africa in the Under 12 - Danone Soccer World Competition. The other school to be visited is Gabigabi High school.
On Friday the 7th of September, we are going meet the following schools: Isidingo, Khuthala, Tholisu, Ndongeni, Vukuzakhe and Cwebezela at Vukuzakhe High School. After that we will move to John Dube High and Siphumelele Primary at Kwamashu and Inanda.

The intention of these visits is to motivate both teachers and learners to continue with the work they do in sports.

Other programmemes for the weekend:

  1. 08/09/2018: Sports Festival at Brettonwood High School from 10:00 to 16:00
  2. 08/09/2018: Beauty Contest (Miss & Mr SADTU) at Brettonwood High School from 18:00 till late
  3. 09/09/2018: Continuation of games and finals including a game between the Legends/SADTU team and Real Kings
  4. Handover of the donation to Makhosi 'Trouble Maker' Luthuli.

Conclusion

We remain passionate about the role played by Madiba in sports and we commit to develop our learners and members through sports for the attainment of a socialist order. We are grateful to all our legends for ploughing back to the communities as Madiba did. You are the true sons and daughters of our land.

Nomarashiya Caluza
Provincial Secretary
082 611 7027
nomarashiyacaluza@gmail.com

Bheki Shandu
Deputy Provincial Secretary
082 611 7028
bshandu1025@gmail.com