South Africa, Durban – Principals and members of school management teams (SMTs) reported for duty yesterday, they will be followed by teachers on February 1 and the pupils on February 15.
Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi would only say they were happy with yesterday’s attendance.
Natu general secretary Cynthia Barnes said yesterday that some of their members did not heed the call to stay home, as they were fearful that they could lose their jobs.
She said after the union had directed them to stay home, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) released a circular stating that those who were absent will be charged.
She said Natu and other unions will be meeting with the department’s national director-general Mathanzima Mweli on Wednesday.
Barnes accused the department of not caring about teachers, saying it was putting them in a position where they could lose their lives.
South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said Sadtu had no powers to tell its members whether or not to go to work, as it is not the employer.
He said tomorrow’s meeting would focus on health and safety issues in schools, including the replenishment of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks.