The Mercury

Sadtu in KZN throws their weight behind Ramaphosa

- Zimasa Matiwane

THE South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) in KwaZulu-Natal has thrown its support behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC’s next leader.

This is despite the ANC’s decision to put a lid on the succession debate.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the provincial conference yesterday, provincial secretary, Nomarashiy­a Caluza told 415 delegates, representi­ng over 60 000 Sadtu members in the province, to support Ramaphosa, saying the deputy president of the ANC must become the president of the party.

But ANC provincial spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli said structures pronouncin­g preferred candidates ahead of the opening of the succession race was in violation of the National Executive Committee decisions.

“This was first done by the SACP and Cosatu, then their affiliates. It makes no contributi­on to unity, it further fragments the alliance,” he said.

Ntuli said it was no longer possible to contain pronouncem­ents, but added that the ANC would soon meet with members of the Tripartite Alliance to discuss a way forward.

Caluza also said the country was undergoing unpreceden­ted challenges directly informed by the nature of the leadership.

“We want to make an impassione­d plea to the leaders of the ANC to ensure that their actions must seek to unite and not divide the oldest liberation movement on the continent,” she said.

Caluza accused the government of being preoccupie­d with reducing the budget deficit to pacify ratings agencies, while the cost of living was rising, with severe impact on poor households.

“That will not resolve the current economic crisis… We believe in the call for radical economic transforma­tion, provided that this is real and tangible transforma­tion meant to emancipate the poor and the working class,” she added.

Caluza also called for unity, while cautioning delegates against “opportunis­tic elements” that used the challenges of the federation to establish alternativ­e organisati­ons.

“We will fight to unite and rebuild. We will strengthen our relations with alliance structures through Cosatu and the organisati­ons that form the Progressiv­e Youth Alliance,”

On the education front, Sadtu vehemently opposed the electronic marking policy proposals by the Department of Education. The union said it believed the intention was to provide a platform for more businesses to enter the basic education space and make maximum profits.

It called on the department to focus on Early Childhood Developmen­t (ECD) to improve education outcomes.

“The conditions of service of ECD practition­ers must significan­tly improve. We will improve our strategies to organise and service ECD practition­ers as a union of all education workers.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa