From the news desk

Schools remain open despite strike action

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Schools across the Western Cape will remain open tomorrow despite the planned strike action by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu). The trade union has promised a complete shutdown around the country, as it protests against the national minimum wage and other labour issues.

There are a number of rumours and fake news posts doing the rounds on social media claiming that schools will shut until Wednesday 2nd May 2018. The Western Cape Education Department says this is not true and has urged parents, learners and members of the public to not share this fake news.

“The planned strike action is not a legitimate reason to close schools. I understand that the distribution of this fake news has been cause for alarm amongst our teachers, learners and parents, but I wish to assure you that schools will be open tomorrow, Wednesday 25th April 2018,” says MEC Debbie Shafer.

“There is no doubt that some schools, especially our commuter schools, will experience late coming or absenteeism due to the strike action. Our schools will however accommodate learners as far as possible and arrange catch up sessions for those learners who missed a significant part the day’s lessons.”
South Africa’s biggest teacher and education workers’ union SADTU, an affiliate of COSATU, confirmed that teachers will not take part in the nationwide strike planned by SAFTU.

“We want to categorically refute the lies peddled by some SAFTU leaders claiming that COSATU will join their strike on Wednesday. This is done deliberately in order to cause confusion among our members,” said SADTU in a statement.

“We urge SADTU members not to be misled to heed SAFTU’s mischievous call to embark on an unprotescted strike that will result in no work, no pay.”

SADTU said members who are going to take to the streets on Wednesday need to know that their strike is not protected because SADTU has not called for the strike.

“SADTU will never support the strike because as an affiliate of COSATU. We support the National Minimum Wage that will see an increase in salaries of more than 6 million workers who are currently earning less than R3500 a month, which is much more higher than the R1800 which business and employers were insisting on.”

“SADTU and COSATU members should know the difference between a living wage and Minimum Wage. Our demand for a Living Wage remains and we see the National Minimum Wage as one step towards realizing our living wage demand.

SADTU members will attend Cosatu rallies and marches all over the country on Tuesday 1 May. VOC

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