12 - 13 April 2019
We, the 140 delegates gathered at Woodlands Lodge in Parys, representing over 14 000 members in the province, attended the Provincial General Council (PGC) convened under the theme “Restore the character of SADTU as a Union of Revolutionary Professionals, Agents of Change and Champions of Peoples Education for Peoples Power, in pursuit of Socialism”. Our meeting is dictated by our constitution which directs the PGC to adopt policy issues of major importance in between conferences.
We note that our PGC takes place at the time when the Union is heading towards its 9th National Congress, the highest decision making body in the union scheduled for September 2019. We therefore took advantage of the PGC to thoroughly prepare the province for the work ahead. We are looking forward to a National Congress of teachers and education workers with the main purpose of building a strong and united organisation.
The PGC spent adequate time in analysing the state of the union in the province to be able to map way forward. We noted some neo-liberal attempts by former union leaders whom the union expelled, to attack SADTU and its leaders at national and elsewhere in provinces. The PGC fully supported legal action taken by the national leadership in defence of the union and its leaders. We call on all leaders in the province to be vigilant, be closer to members and provide quality service. We strongly believe that the defence mechanism against any infiltration of the union is our unity which is informed by sharing of information with members, negotiating favourable benefits for members, representing members against unfair labour practices, organising capacity building workshops, engaging in sports, arts and cultural activities, and being a goal oriented organisation to realise our objectives of the 2030 vision.
The PGC received messages of support from alliance partners; the SACP and COSATU whose inputs contributed immensely in debates and resolutions that were adopted. The council further received presentations from SACE, GEPF, and GEMS to clarify some of the concerns members have on the ground. We welcome with appreciation the move by SACE to launch Teachers’ Rights, Responsibilities and Safety Programme to address the scourge of violence in schools especially on teachers. This posture is positive as it portrays SACE differently from the view that many teachers hold that it only cares about the rights of learners, whilst it is the Council for Educators, whom it has to develop and protect.
The PGC was disappointed by the absence of the leader of the alliance, the ANC. The PGC continues to regard ANC as an organisation that is rooted amongst the masses and in particular the working class who are the motive force of our National Democratic Revolution. We are therefore expecting the ANC to always be where the masses are. This tendency has to be condemned with the contempt it deserves, and through COSATU we will use the appropriate forum to express our dissatisfaction.
PGC appreciated the historic Matthew Goniwe Memorial Lecture organised by the province and presented by the General Secretary, Cde Mugwena Maluleke. This memorial lecture has revived and sharpened our political understanding of a true revolutionary in the real challenging working environment. Cde Matthew Goniwe’s political attributes cannot be divorced from his character of being a strict disciplinarian, and stickler of punctuality”, hence we commit to the provisioning of public quality education to eradicate high level of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Our PGC is preceded by numerous activities organised by the union in the province, which are in line with our 2030 Vision. Through these activities we bridged the gap between members and leaders and brought unity and stability in the organisation. During the period under review the PGC noted with appreciation the following successful activities:
The PGC noted and condemned:
The Council resolved on the following crucial issues affecting members:
On Student Chapter
We reaffirm the NGC resolution on collaborating with tertiary institutions with the sole aim of growing the organisation and preparing final year students to understand workplace politics at the right time.
We will continue utilising the programme called WORLD OF WORK (WOW) organised by education faculties in universities to attract prospective graduates to join SADTU.
On School Infrastructure, resources and curriculum as drivers of quality public education
The Council declared that infrastructure, curriculum redesign and the financing of public education remain an apex priority of government in order to achieve the UN SDG, in particular SDG4. The PGC however noted progress made in the infrastructural development in the province whilst acknowledging backlogs in some areas.
On safety in schools
PGC noted and appreciated that through the insistence of SADTU, the provincial department of education finally convened safety in schools summit of which majority of the participants were teachers, but was disappointed at the snail’s pace of consolidating resolutions of the summit for implementation. PGC resolved that the department of education should be caused to avail the summit resolutions and start with implementation without any further delay.
On no-fee school allocation to schools
The PGC noted that allocations to schools per learner has been capped at R100 since the inception of the classification of schools in terms of quintiles. The no–fee schools are in terms of Act not allowed to charge school fees, except for fundraising which is very difficult in these poor communities.
The PGC resolved that there should be an increase in no-fee schools allocation for the schools to be able perform optimally
On delay in payment of temporary teachers
The PGC condemned the delay in payment of temporary teachers by the department of education. Some of temporary teachers were not paid since January 2019. The PGC called on structures to follow dispute resolution mechanism enshrined in the ELRC Constitution.
On membership service
On support for the ANC
Guided by our National Congress resolution and that of COSATU, we commit to be on the streets in our numbers to ensure a convincing victory for the ANC in the coming national general elections. As SADTU we are not apologetic about our support for the ANC in the coming national general election as per the Congress resolution. Whilst we acknowledge the challenges within the movement, we strongly believe that these challenges are not insurmountable. We stand behind state capture commission, but caution against putting the cart before the horse by trialling those implicated on public space without allowing the commission to conclude its work with clear recommendations. We further caution against being taken by elections hype by supporting those who are making noise at the periphery and not approaching the commission to testify.
On international solidarity work
The PGC in support of the Ida Cyclone victims in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi resolved to mobilise members and society at large to contribute clothes, canned food staff and any other contribution in kind. All contributions would then be sent to the national office to be directed to the affected countries.
We will spare neither effort nor strength to pledge our solidarity with the people of Venezuela, Palestine and Cuba. We condemn the conduct of USA Donald Trump led government to restore some trade and travel restrictions lifted in Cuba. This is the reversal of the work done by administration of his predecessor, Barrack Obama. We condemn with strongest terms the imposition of governments by the USA in replacement of the sitting heads of states using undemocratic processes in these countries. We call on members to support the alliance international solidarity campaigns to advance our course.
We are re-energised as members and we re-commit ourselves to work harder in building a strong organisation in the education sector. We will improve on servicing members, including those in vulnerable sectors such as AET, ECD, TVET and office based. Our unity is paramount and we will defend it with all our might.
We will remain a member driven union and will represent their aspirations with utmost dedication.
AND SO WE DECLARE
Issued by Provincial Secretariat