The DA condemns Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s self-serving praise of SADTU over the weekend.
Cosying up to SADTU may help Ramaphosa’s chances in the ANC’s leadership election, but it hurts the prospects of poor children who suffer in an education system captured by SADTU bosses.
Speaking at the SADTU KZN Congress, Ramaphosa said: “SADTU has been a great boon, rather than a burden, to our education system.” He praised the union for “transforming” education and added: “Some people don’t like strong unions, but the ANC does.”
It is a great pity that Ramaphosa has chosen to prioritise his political ambitions over the future of poor children. As Deputy President, he must be aware of SADTU’s negative impact.
The evidence of SADTU’s destruction in our education system is plain to see:
- The Ministerial Task Team report on the ‘Jobs for Cash’ scandal illustrated how SADTU controls 6 of the 9 provincial education departments through, amongst its connections to the ANC, encouraging militancy over professionalism, by coercing teachers, principals, officials and others to accede to its demands, and by using cadre deployment, bribery and corruption to ensure its members are prioritised for jobs.
- SADTU has blocked measures to hold educators accountable such as regular assessments, competency tests and performance agreements for Principals.
- SADTU members regularly embark on protests, strikes and stay-aways that deprive our poorest children of a decent education.
- South Africa has more teaching days lost to strike action than any other country in Southern Africa.
This is why the South African Human Rights Commission is investigating SADTU’s role in denying children the right to a basic education, following a complaint lodged by the DA in September 2015.
SADTU’s iron grip on alliance politics means that no ANC politician dare speak out against it. As long as the ANC is in power, the more children will suffer at the hands of SADTU.
Ramaphosa is just like other ANC leaders: out of touch and lacking in moral courage. If we are to change the lives of South Africa’s children, power needs to change hands at the ballot box in 2019.
Gavin Davis MP
DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education