Jun 29, 2012
Failure to agree on health, education as essential servicesBack
Johannesburg|Education|System|Equipment|Health Services|Service|Services|Angie Motshekga|Infrastructure
"The commission resolved that... the process should continue to find a consensus around this matter of declaring education an essential service," ANC health and education commission member Angie Motshekga, who is also the basic education minister, told reporters in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Chairman of the commission Zweli Mkhize said the problems of essential services applied to both health and education.
"Essential services is about critical service in the country that should be always reliable, available and can be assured at all times... the two sectors do fit this," he said.
All parties at the ANC's four-day policy conference, including labour, agreed that the provision of education and health services should not be interrupted by strikes.
However, Mkhize said classifying health work and teaching as essential services would not necessarily remove the problems which led to crippling strikes.
It would be better to prevent disputes from ever getting to the bargaining stage. To this end, the commission had recommended setting up an independent body to review salaries in the health and education sectors.
"It means that body would be the one that everybody would defer to in relation to their remunerative packages... that means it never arises that you've got to go and bargain," Mkhize said.
Motshekga said labour argued that its right to strike was protected by the Constitution.
Labour wanted other issues such as teachers' salaries and conditions addressed. She said the commission would compare the salaries and working conditions of teachers and health care workers with their international counterparts.
"If the report-back shows that there is indeed something we can do to improve the conditions of service for teachers, then [we should] agree with them to have a multi-year agreement, so that every year we are not under a threat of strike."
The SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) could not be blamed for all shortfalls in the education system.
"It would be unfair to blame everything on Sadtu.
"Where teachers [are] confronted with classes of 80 [pupils], you can't blame Sadtu, the state has to take responsibility."
Motshekga said Sadtu could also not be blamed for poor infrastructure in the education system or a lack of books or equipment.
"Some of the things have not crumbled because of Sadtu. They have crumbled because of challenges within the state system itself."
Edited by: SapaComment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...