The South African Democratic Teachers Union is up in arms over the scrapping of an initiative aimed at rural school teachers. This has caused tension between the teachers union and the education department.
South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) disapproves of the unilateral decision of terminating the rural incentive as contained in circular number 176 of 2021 by the Head of the Department of Education in Limpopo.
Provincial education department spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene said the compensation of employees baseline was reduced by more than R1bn.
It is reported that more than 6 000 teachers will not receive their allowances as of January 2022 because of budgetary constraints.
“The budget cuts are as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, teachers will continue receiving their salaries,” she Chuene.
The rural incentive was introduced by the then Minister of Basic and Higher Education, Naledi Pandor through Government Gazette 30678.
Its aim was to draw and keep teachers in schools located in remote areas.
This issue was escalated to the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshega.
SADTU has warned the department of education that the criteria to pay out the allowance was fundamentally flawed and probably would lead to more serious challenges in the future.
“The reasons for termination cited in the departmental circular are also quite disturbing, to say the least. It must be noted that some of the educators received the incentive as a result of court orders issued by the various courts in the Province and the HOD’s actions can be described as a contempt of court for she cannot use self-help to extricate herself out of the obligations of the law. This misguided action will lead to a flurry of litigations against the department,” said SADTU.
The union is prepared to approach relevant forums and stakeholders to resolve the matter at hand.