A number of temporary educators from various schools in Rakwadu circuit, Mopani accuse the Department of Education of ill-treatment after it has allegedly failed to pay their salaries since January. They claim to have engaged with the department ever since but their attempts did not bear fruits.
One of the educators who wished to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation said he depends on his wife’s salary to go to work and this causes a negative tension in the family because he cannot afford to put food on the table for his loved ones.
He further said “My wife thinks I am not man enough because of my failure to contribute to the household. I did not get my salary since February and when I enquire I am always told that they are busy processing salaries for temporary teachers. I love my job and I am afraid I might lose it if I don’t report for duty.” He added that the department is not treating its employees well but yet expect learners to pass with flying colours.
Another educator in the same boat explained that he did not perform to the best of his ability in the classroom because he was not getting paid to do his job. He further said there was a shortage of teachers in the province but the department didn’t value and appreciate people who tried to minimise the shortage. Department of Education Spokesperson Naledzani Rasila said he was not aware of the crisis and emphasised that such cases are treated on an individual basis and urged teachers to consult with their respective districts for assistance.
He further said “We had a serious crisis back then and we tried to clean the backlog and paid all the temporary educators their outstanding salaries. I am surprised there are teachers who are still not being their salaries. Whoever is not getting paid and have submitted all the required documentation, should visit the district directors for assistance.”
Rakwadu Circuit Manager David Sethaba confirmed the crisis but also outlined that they were busy progressing the payments. “There were about 15 teachers who were not getting their salaries due to the provincial strike that happened at Department of Education at the beginning of the year. We could not process their documents but we will sort out their payments as soon as possible,” he explained.
Another educator said their efforts to get assistance in their specific district were in vain and urged Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe to intervene on the matter to avoid losing teachers.
South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) Provincial Secretary, Matome Raphasha said they were not aware of the situation but promised to follow up to see how best the union can assist affected educators in Mopani district. He further said the union recently helped educators in the Sekhukhune area who had the same problem and indicated that they would investigate and hoped to come up with a solution.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI