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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU meets provincial government on education, to avert strike action

22 August 2012

COSATU today met the Provincial Government around the closure of schools and need for equality in educational in the Western Cape. This meeting was convened under the auspices of NEDLAC at the Cape Town International airport.

This meeting was forced on the Provincial Government by NEDLAC in terms of the NEDLAC act and the Labour Relations Act, given that Zille has refused to meet COSATU on any matters related to the Province due to her hostility to the unionís movement and workers.

The meeting agreed on the following:

  • That the Provincial Government would clarify the position that the closures of the schools are not a foregone conclusion and that the consultation process would continue in terms of the law. COSATU and the Dept of Education will meet in a subcommittee to evaluate the educational programme and its impact on the 27 schools and explore solutions in respect of the affected schools.
  • The NEDLAC discussion further agreed that there was an urgent need to find the best way in which to achieve quality in education as well as equality amongst the rich and poor schools, so that all learners could have the same educational prospects.
  • This was the first time the Western Cape government has ever agreed to the need for equality of education between black and white kids, and it is a significant move to undoing the old apartheid practices in this Province.
  • A committee between COSATU and the Education Dept will discuss the details of this in principle area of agreement.
  • These 2 sub Committees will report back to the NEDALC meeting within 3 weeks to consider the progress made. Should no progress be made then COSATU maintains its right to continue its strike action under NEDLAC.
  • COSATU has however confirmed its view that there must be an end to the inequalities between black and white learners.

These were a constructive negotiation and we look forward to further progress in this regard.

For questions please call COSATU Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, at 082 7733 194