BASIC Education Department director-general Bobby Soobrayan has been deployed to the Eastern Cape to resolve the crises surrounding the employment of temporary teachers in the province.
This after the provincial Education Department and the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) failed to reach an agreement in a series of meetings which started on Friday and reached a deadlock on Monday.
As a result, Sadtu provincial executive committee members, Federation of Governing Bodies Association of South Africa officials and a group of temporary teachers then camped in the education department’s Zwelitsha boardroom, while acting superintendent-general Mthunywa Ngonzo and his administration went home.
Yesterday, Soobrayan, a junior to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, arrived in the province and went straight into meetings with Sadtu officials and the department’s provincial executive management, which included Ngonzo.
Among issues discussed at the meetings were the non-availability of a budget for temporary teacher salaries and the reappointment of employees who were fired by former education boss Modidima Mannya.
Sadtu provincial secretary Mncekeleli Ndongeni said the department had yet to employ a temporary teacher since Ngonzo made an announcement last month that all teachers would be reinstated.
He said those teachers who had been reinstated by Mannya had not been paid, while school governing bodies had been forced to make attempts to pay them using school funds.
"They are making a mockery out of people’s lives. What is worse is that schools continue to suffer,” said Ndogeni.
He added they had decided to sleep in the department’s head office to show they were "serious” about the matter.
Ministerial spokeswoman Hope Mokgatlhe confirmed that Soobrayan was in the province to resolve the impasse.