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Youth reacts to teaching being an essential service

The YCL and Cosas believe South African teachers should be allowed to strike.

The YCL and Cosas believe South African teachers should be allowed to strike.

JOHANNESBURG - Youth organisations appear to be split about the ANC's call for education to be declared an essential service.

The ruling party made the announcement at Johannesburg's Lethuli House on Monday.

The Progressive Youth Alliance, consisting of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), the Young Communist League and Congress of SA Students (Cosas), highlighted issues they feel affect young South Africans.

Issues include youth unemployment and the National Youth Development Agency.

The ANCYL's Kenetswe Mosenogi says they support the declaration of education as an essential right.

"It must not take away a learner's right to protest and it must not take away a teacher's right to demonstrate, whenever there are challenges that are not resolved."

But the Young Communist League's Buti Manamela says while education is a right, there must be a balance.

"[There must be a balance between] the right to education for a child and also the right for a teacher to exercise their democratic right to strike."

Cosas has expressed its objection to making education an essential service.

The organisation says teachers have a right to demonstrate.

Meanwhile, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) will request an urgent meeting with the ANC to discuss the matter.

Sadtu wants government to address issues of inadequate infrastructure, school overcrowding and problems with learning material.