What is MEC Nkonyeni doing about KZN’s unpaid teachers?

Rafeek Shah, MPL

DA KZN Alternate Spokesperson on Education

Concerns raised by the DA over a wide-spread problem of unpaid teachers in KZN have been vindicated with a media report confirming that around 200 educators from Eshowe remain unpaid for as long as six months following an administration bungle by the provincial Education department.

On 27 June I wrote to KZN Education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, drawing her attention to the fact that teachers from an LSEN school in Empangeni had not been paid by the department.  I also indicated that I believed the problem was more wide-spread.

To date I have had no response. Clearly the MEC does not regard the situation as serious.

Not paying teachers has a range of devastating consequences.  Firstly there is the personal hardship that they and their families must endure without an income.  Then there is the effect that this has on their motivation levels.  As it is, KZN’s learner performance levels are poor.  With teachers who are demoralised there can be little hope of improvement.

Not paying teachers will also lead to further labour disputes and animosity between the department and unions – something KZN can ill-afford.

Another likely scenario is that this situation will discourage prospective teachers from entering the profession.  This will severely hamper the ability to attract quality individuals to become the good teachers we so desperately need.

The DA is appalled that this issue has been left to drag on for so long.  The problem of teacher databases and other administration related issues has dogged the province for ages.  Once again, we see the result of cadre deployment where personnel are without the skills to do the job.

The buck stops with the MEC and her HOD.  They must immediately deal with this inexcusable bungle on the part of the department.