'ANC endorses plan to ban teachers' strikes’

File: ANC leaders have reportedly endorsed a proposal to declare education an essential service and ban teachers' strikes. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN
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JOHANNESBURG - The ANC and trade union Cosatu look set to clash heads, as a report has emerged that the ruling party wants to make it illegal for teachers to go on strike.

Today’s Sunday Times has quoted insiders who attended the ANC's national executive committee lekgotla this week - where members reportedly endorsed a proposal to declare education an essential service and ban teachers' strikes.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has rejected the decision and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) is furious at President Jacob Zuma's proposal.

The paper quotes Sadtu General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke as saying the decision to adopt Zuma’s proposal is not the answer to averting labour strikers.

“It is meant to address an irritation that is strikes. But strikes do not affect education, because teachers don’t strike every day.”

Meanwhile, government has reportedly spent about R2.3 billion on surplus teachers whose jobs have been cut - even as there is a shortage of at least 15, 000 teachers at schools across the country.