19 June 2018
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union in the Western Cape (SADTU Western Cape) strongly condemns the dastardly action of the hijacking of three teachers' cars at the school premises of ACJ Pakade Primary School at Strand on Monday morning, 18 June 2018.
This clearly manifests the gross disregard for the safety and lack of appreciation of a section of the population that renders a crucial service to society. This deed will further cause untold damage to the morale and enthusiasm for education workers who are under constant pressure working in overcrowded classrooms. This also poses a threat to the retention rate of teachers.
This is the heinous and odious reality that education workers and learners face on a daily basis in areas like Hanover Park, Mannenberg, Nyanga, and Worcester, Paarl, George and many other areas.
A few weeks ago, criminals entered the premises of four schools in Khayelitsha, they scared the staff using guns and managed to steal their cell phones and lap tops. As much as we appreciate the security guards that are to be placed at affected schools, as a union we strongly feel that the employer needs to be pro-active, and not only offer some respite in the form of knee jerk reaction to those schools who have already been affected by these violent acts but devise a more sustainable strategy that encompasses all the schools in the province.
The employer, through SAPS and Community Safety in the province is aware of all high-risk areas in the province, and should provide security officers in all these areas and not wait until an incident happens.
As a union, we highly appreciate the efforts of the Khayelitsha Development Forum, Khayelitsha Education Forum, SADTU Khayelitsha Branch and other area formations in engaging the Western Cape Education Department and trying to get some relief for the affected schools. The efforts applied in Khayelitsha and ACJ Pakade should also be extended to other areas where there may not be the strong organisational structures that are able to tackle the educational challenges in the area.
In our past presentations to the employer on what an ideal school in the Western Cape entails, we have always appealed to the employer to provide psychological and counselling personnel to all schools. These services should be a high priority more especially in our working class schools where violence is rife. However, this is not realisable in the near future due the planning of the Western Cape Department of Education that does not prioritise the social ills that have a direct impact on both education workers and learners of the poorer schools in the province.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Western Cape Provincial Secretariat
Provincial Secretary, Jonavon Rustin: 0836335714
Deputy Provincial Secretary, Sibongile Kwazi: 0836278006