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Saftu calls on teachers, pupils to stay home and boycott school on Monday

Saftu said it fully supported teacher organisations that urged their members not to return to class until Minister Motshekga can guarantee schools will not be ground where the coronavirus spreads.

Picture: 123rf

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) called for a nationwide strike if government continues with its plans to reopen schools on Monday.

Apprehension over the move is mounting, with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga due to hold a briefing later on Sunday.

Saftu said it fully supported teacher organisations that urged their members not to return to class just yet.

Grade 7 and grade 12 pupils are expected on school grounds on Monday, 1 June 2020. But, some institutions were still without adequate personal protective gear – while others faced the prospect of opening without the provision of basic services such as water.

Saftu joined a growing list of organisations strongly pushing back against the plan.

The union said reopening schools was an arrogant and carless move, adding it risked the lives of teachers and pupils.

General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said: “We are calling for the total boycott of school and we are calling on every teacher and every child not to go to school until the minister comes forward and guarantees that the schools will be ready and they will not be the new infection ground for the coronavirus.”

By Sunday the country had logged well over 30, 000 COVID-19 infections – a figure expected to rise for weeks to come.

Six-hundred-and-forty-three (643) people have now died from the disease - most in the western cape - which is still the epicenter of the epidemic.

READ: Basic Education Department's final schedule for reopening of schools

200529 Basic Education Gazette by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd