The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) in Limpopo has threatened to embark on a possible indefinite strike in January 2022 after learning of the cancellation of the Rural Incentive offered to qualifying educators by the Department of education in the province.
The Rural Incentive was introduced by the former Minister of Basic and Higher Education, Naledi Pandor, with its aim being to attract and retaining educators in remote schools and hard-to-teach schools. SADTU in Limpopo have reiterated their shock and dismay at the Department of Education’s decision saying that it is provocation of the highest order to the Union and its members and will be met with a concomitant action from the Union.
SADTU also revealed that the Department of Education has always been ‘clamouring’ towards terminating the incentive and that the union have rebutted the move on several occasions.
“Currently the issue was escalated to the minister of Basic Education Ms Angie Motshega as it falls within her purview. It is therefore legally untenable for the HOD of Education in Limpopo Province to arrogate to herself powers that she does not have under the law to terminate a policy of general application which is a transversal matter,” SADTU said.
“The reasons for termination cited in the department circular are also quite disturbing to say the least. It must be noted that some of the educators received the incentive as a result of court orders issued by the various courts in the province and the HOD’s actions can be described as a contempt of court for she cannot use self-help to extricate herself our of the obligations of the law. This misguided action will lead to a flurry of litigations against the department,” added SADTU.
SADTU further stated that they have attempted to reach out to the office of the Head of the Department but have been given the cold shoulder as the HOD remains adamant that the decision will not be reversed and further revealed that the Union are prepared to exercise their rights under the law by approaching a competent forum to adjudicate on the matter as a result.