Sadtu intends to sow confusion with its remarks on principals’ right to strike

The DA notes the objection by the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) and other teachers unions to our proposal that the right of principals be limited and reiterates its call to the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, to prioritise the safety of our learners during tomorrow’s strike by liaising with the police.
With the matric exams scheduled to start soon, Motshekga must ensure there are plans by her department to avoid violence, intimidation and the disruption of learning as these exams are critical in shaping learners’ futures.
We encourage all learners to report any threats or harassment by SADTU and any injuries that may be inflicted on them by the union’s members. The DA will not hesitate to lay charges on behalf of these pupils and hold Motshekga accountable.
The move by the DA to have the posts of principals and their deputies declared an essential service is motivated by our concerns regarding learner safety and we will not relent until this goal is achieved. Learners are under the supervision of principals during the day and it is therefore important that their right to strike is limited as it is their duty to protect learners from the violence SADTU has become notorious for during its strikes.
The DA believes in the constitutionally enshrined right to strike and we are not suggesting that the limit is extended to all teachers.
The remark made by SADTU General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke, that our proposal is a ‘political gimmick’ only proves that the union does not care about the safety, well-being and rights of children.
Our proposal is guided by the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) determination that it is reasonable to limit the right of certain education sector employees to strike and this is necessary as learners are the worst affected by strike action. South Africa is a signatory of the ILO and cannot act against its principles.
The insinuation by SADTU and other unions that the DA wants to widely limit the right to strike is intended to sow confusion and we condemn this with the contempt it deserves.