Thousands of educators gathered at the Durban City Hall on last Friday at around midday after the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) march from King Dinuzulu Park.
The strike, which began at 10am and ended at 3pm was organised by the provincial executive committee of Sadtu KwaZulu-Natal that convened to assess progress by the Department of Education, including a detailed analysis of its mandate to deliver quality education.
Provincial Secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza, outlined the memorandum that was handed over to the Department of Education.
“We had no option but to take the very critical time out of our ever busy schedules to express disgust and our frustrations at the failure of our employer to deliver quality education to our schools. We have noted the horrible condition under which education workers are forced to deliver education in KwaZulu-Natal, these conditions have perpetually limited education delivery in the province,” said Caluza.
Failure to fill posts was one of the major concerns highlighted during the strike. Sadtu said that the KZN Department of Education failed to fill the 184 vacancies advertised in February.
General Secretary Magwena Maluleke said that policy should understand that the future of children is the future of the country. “When we make demands, we make them on behalf of the children,” said Magwena.
Other concerns raised included the non-transfer of school funds to schools, lack of basic infrastructure like toilets, schools failure to provide support to education workers and classroom educators. “We are not happy because our demands have not been met. There is no infrastructure, no toilets, no resources and no furniture,” said Nomaza Tshazi, who joined the march.
Education head of department Dr Enock Nzama, who received the memorandum, said that the department would do “the decent thing” and respond to each of the requests. “We must thank you for a very comprehensive memorandum.”