Rural South African Children learning without a Classroom
South African teacher union leaders are consulting their members on strike action over the government's failure to meet their salary demand
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) along with other public service unions is demanding a salary increase of 8.6% and in particular a housing allowance of R1000 - the government is only offering R65O which means that most teachers are not able to afford a house.
According to SADTU's website: "The State as employer contends that unions’ demands are unreasonable, but the average public servant in lower and middle echelons cannot even afford to buy a decent home. By not giving proper attention to the housing allowance, which is a meagre R500 per month, and by offering an insignificant real increase, the State as employer is contributing to poverty as the Public Service is the single largest workplace in our country."
The gap between rich and poor is still huge in South Africa and conditions for teachers particularly in rural parts of the country are no better than in other countries in sub-saharan Africa - with huge class sizes, few teaching materials and run down buildings.