BOKAMOSO | SA’s children pay the real price of SADTU ‘Jobs for Cash’ racket

The ANC is selling the futures of a generation of South Africa’s poorest school children in exchange for SADTU’s political support.

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Instead of appointing teachers and principals who are committed and competent, South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) members have been selling teacher and principal posts for money. Principal posts apparently start at R30 000. This practice is allegedly common and widespread in South Africa.

Of all the forms of corruption at play in our country today, this is surely the most abhorrent. South Africa’s poorest children are its victims, because SADTU is most active and powerful in South Africa’s poorest schools.

The official and long-awaited report into this ‘jobs for cash’ scandal was due for release today, Friday 15 April, but Education Minister Angie Motshekga has delayed its publication for the fifth time, until 6 May.

South Africans need to know the truth about this matter, and these continued delays suggest that the Department of Basic Education is succumbing to SADTU pressure to whitewash the report in order to conceal the full extent of the problem.

It has now been two years since Education Minister Angie Motshekga appointed a Ministerial Task Team, headed by highly respected Professor John Volmink, to investigate and compile a full report. And still we are waiting.

This ‘jobs for cash’ report may well be the key to breaking the destructive and debilitating grip that SADTU has over our education system. As with the Nkandla saga, South Africans need an unbiased assessment of the facts. Because the full truth will enable bold and decisive action to reign in SADTU and revive our education system.

We deserve to know the truth, and anyone who has sold teacher or principal posts deserves to face the full force of the law. Our children deserve an education system that empowers them for the future. They need the very best possible teachers, appointed on merit by an education department that is free from political meddling.

It is therefore of critical importance that the report is not diluted, edited or tampered with in any way. And yet these constant delays strongly suggest that the truth is being covered over, while we wait. The latest delay was to give the Minister more time to consult with SADTU, raising questions of whether the final report will be sanitized as a result.

The Minister is clearly yielding to SADTU pressure. On the one hand, the ANC has SADTU with 245 000 members, the largest and most powerful union in its trade union alliance partner COSATU. On the other hand, the ANC controls the plight of millions of poor schoolchildren, for whom a decent education is their sole route out of poverty. Party versus people. ANC versus South Africa. President Zuma has stated in no uncertain terms that the ANC comes first.

The delay in the release of the report highlights yet again that for the ANC, political expediency trumps the needs of the people. It underscores that the ANC puts party politics ahead of governing the country. The ‘jobs for cash’ scandal is yet more evidence of the extent to which the corrupt practice of patronage has become a cultural norm within the ANC and its alliance partners.

According to an interim report which was leaked in December, this outrageous practice of SADTU officials selling teaching posts is apparently rife in six of our nine provinces – Eastern Cape‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ Limpopo‚ Gauteng‚ Mpumalanga and North West.

Jobs for cash is only one of many indicators that SADTU is running an extended network of bribery and corruption in our schools; that our education system has been hijacked by SADTU; and that SADTU is the core reason why our education outcomes are so poor. Minister Angie Motshekga herself has openly admitted that SADTU controls the education departments in some of our provinces.

SADTU has sabotaged the Education Department’s Annual National Assessments. They have rejected teacher performance assessments. They have opposed competency tests for principals and matric exam markers. They have undertaken unlawful strike action during teaching time. They have used children in marches. In summary, they have crippled our education system.

A quality education system is key to reducing poverty and inequality in South Africa. Not only does SA urgently need to improve our overall education outcomes, but we need to significantly reduce the deep gap in performance between rich and poor children. Instead, SADTU’s harmful influence is widening this gap.

It is brutally unfair to deny poor children the freedom and opportunities that a good education confers. And the greater inequality that this engenders in South Africa is harmful to all levels of our society in myriad ways.

SADTU’s powerful and damaging influence is a disgraceful indictment on the government’s commitment to the children of South Africa. We at the DA will do everything in our power to ensure that those individuals within SADTU who have broken the law by selling teacher and principal posts will be tried in a court of law and, if found guilty, will be imprisoned.

On 3 August, in the Local Government Elections, every adult South African citizen has the chance to send the message to the ANC that the selling of teacher and principal posts is unacceptable to them. Our children’s future is not for sale. I urge you to vote for the DA. Vote for freedom, fairness and opportunity. Vote for change that puts South Africa and its children first.

Mmusi Maimane
DA Leader
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