Teach Sadtu a les­son

CityPress - - Voices -

The story of how of­fi­cials from teach­ers’ union Sadtu were sell­ing posts to prin­ci­pals, teach­ers and se­nior ed­u­ca­tion staff did not hit the head­lines for at least 15 years.

Dur­ing this time, of­fi­cials and of­fice bear­ers of one of the coun­try’s most pow­er­ful unions col­luded with cor­rupt and be­holden ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment of­fi­cials to place can­di­dates who paid bribes in plum posts.

They did so with­out a thought for which can­di­date was best for the job, or how the chil­dren who were to be taught by these bringers of bribes would suf­fer as a re­sult.

How, we ask, did our gov­ern­ment al­low things to de­te­ri­o­rate to this point for all that time?

This week, Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Angie Mot­shekga ad­dressed a press con­fer­ence on the out­comes of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion she had launched into the jobs-for-cash scam that City Press first ex­posed about 18 months ago.

The pro­vi­sional re­port, au­thored by Pro­fes­sor John Volmink, who Mot­shekga ap­pointed to lead the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, pro­vides a hint as to why South Africa’s par­ents and their chil­dren get lit­tle bang for the R203 bil­lion ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion buck, which is, by far, the high­est in Africa. The an­swer lies with Sadtu. In a des­per­ate at­tempt to kill off this mafia and the deaths re­lated to it, Mot­shekga is propos­ing to freeze va­cant prin­ci­pal po­si­tions un­til the de­part­ment can find a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to the prob­lem.

This will ar­guably be the bat­tle of her po­lit­i­cal life – to cur­tail the power of the 245 000-mem­ber union.

After all, it was one of the forces that brought Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to power, helped to en­sure his re-elec­tion as ANC pres­i­dent in Man­gaung, and played a piv­otal role in oust­ing Zwelinz­ima Vavi and met­al­work­ers’ union Numsa from Cosatu.

To break the stran­gle­hold that Sadtu has on ed­u­ca­tion jobs in our coun­try, Mot­shekga will need the help and sup­port of Zuma and her Cabi­net col­leagues. She will also need the vig­i­lance of hon­est ed­u­ca­tors, school gov­ern­ing bod­ies and the par­ents of South Africa.

We need to put the power back where it be­longs – with the min­is­ter, MECs and duly au­tho­rised of­fi­cials. Sadtu must stop the de­nial­ism about the deep rot in its mem­ber­ship. If it con­tin­ues to put its head in the sand, it will of­fi­cially be­come a mafia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.