The Provincial Executive Committee of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) in the Western Cape had a special meeting on Tuesday, 2 April 2024 and resolved to launch a campaign against the implementation of Cost Containment measures as contained in the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) Circular 34 of 2023 and 8 of 2024.

The circular spell a staffing disaster for poor working-class schools. Classrooms will be left without teachers where there are educators acting in vacant Deputy Principal and Departmental Head positions as WCED will not be employing substitute educators in their place, even though the substitute posts would be within the approved staff establishment of the school. The schools will have to wait until the recruitment and selection processes are complete before the posts are filled

Schools will not be able to employ contract teachers to substitute educators who are on sick leave for longer than fifteen days. Classrooms will be left without teachers when educators vacate their positions through natural attrition, or promotion as schools must now wait for the vacancy to be advertised and follow the recruitment process.

 The implementation of the provisions of Section 6A of the Employment of Educators’ Act ensured that no classroom is left without a teacher. Unfortunately, these measures will affect poor working-class schools who cannot afford to employ additional SGB staff.

The WCED has a terrible history when it comes to the filling of promotion posts, with posts taking years to be filled. Currently, there are posts advertised in 2022 and longer that have not yet been filled.

The WCED purports to be pro-poor, but the implementation of the two circulars indicates that the education of the poor learners, who suffered learning losses during the covid-19 lockdown is not a priority. The Department even has the audacity to advise schools to introduce the Temporary Revised Education Programme (TREP), wherein learners will not attend school daily but on certain days of the week. This will further widen the gap between learners attending affluent schools and those from poor working-class backgrounds. WCED is promoting the creation of two economies within the province, one for the poor and one for the rich.

ISSUED BY: The Secretariat

CONTACT: Sibongile Kwazi:  Provincial Secretary: 0836278006

Kenneth Williams:  Deputy Secretary: 0836349213

Vusumzi Zweni: Chairperson: 0836335272