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Sadtu wants meeting with ANC

Sadtu says the ANC's move to declare teaching an essential service is unconstitutional.

Sadtu says the ANC's move to declare teaching an essential service is unconstitutional and will not fix the problems in education. Picture: Nadine Moodie/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) on Monday said the ANC's move to declare teaching an essential service was unconstitutional and would not fix the problems in education.

The ruling party announced that it would do everything in its power to make sure classes were not disrupted due to strikes.

The ANC also said violent protests must be met with an "iron fist", and rejected Eskom's proposed electricity price hike.

The power utility wants an increase of 16 percent every year for the next five years.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said education was crucial to the growth and survival of a society.

"It must be difficult, or almost impossible, to disrupt education."

But Sadtu's Mugwena Maluleke said strikes were the symptoms of deeper problems, and that stopping them would not solve anything.

"We as Sadtu agree fully that education is essential to the development of our nation. However, legally declaring it as an essential service is not addressing the problem.

"The problems in the country have nothing to do with the teachers strikes at all."

Maluleke said problems were related to infrastructure, resources and teachers qualifications or the lack thereof.

The trade union said it would call for an urgent meeting with the ANC.