All the 205 temporary teachers in Limpopo who have not been paid in recent months should expect their salaries – backdated to April – today, the provincial education department said yesterday.
This is after the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) threatened a provincial shutdown in the coming weeks if the teachers were not paid. Yesterday, spokesperson for the Limpopo education department Naledzani Rasila said the delays in payment were as a result of a “new, improved system” which required the teachers’ personal documentation.
“The MEC has also expressed disappointment in the delays,” Rasila said. “However, we expect all the teachers to be paid their salaries, which will be backdated to April, by Wednesday.”
Sadtu provincial secretary Matome Raphasha said the department failed to meet its payment deadline of Tuesday last week and that left the union with no choice but to start planning picketing and protest action.
“Our shop stewards are planning to hold pickets in all the six districts on Thursday [tomorrow], which will be followed by a provincial march.
“As Sadtu, we are also concerned about the many vacancies,” Raphasha said.
He reiterated that the shutdown would continue unless the department paid all the affected teachers.
Meanwhile, commenting on how the catch-up programme in Vuwani has been going after months of a total shutdown of services, which also saw children barred from going to school, Rasila said everything has progressed according to plan.
“Affected pupils were also able to sit for their mid-year examinations recently and they are now ready for the trial exams, which begin on Thursday. “The catch-up programme will be completed during the September holidays, which will also be used to prepare pupils for the year-end examination,” Rasila said.
During the Vuwani shutdown of services, which also saw businesses and taxis not allowed to operate in the area for more than three months, nearly 30 schools were torched.