Angie Motshekga responds to SADTU’s call for her to go

Minister says tariffs on page 3 of Collective Agreement No. 1 of 2011 were erroneously inserted

 

Minister Motshekga finds SADTU‘s call for her resignation regrettable

6 Mar 2013

The Minister of Basic Education is disappointed at the utterances made by the leadership of the South Africa Democratic Teachers Union that she must resign. The Minister finds the stance taken by the South African Democratic Teachers; Union (SADTU) unfortunate, the posture and tone regrettable.

At this point it is important to set the record straight on some of the key allegations that SADTU has made:

Collective Bargaining

On 7 April 2011 a Collective Agreement No. 1 OF 2011 was entered into under the auspices of the Education Labour Relations Council. The purpose was recorded as being to “improve the remuneration of those who are appointed as markers in the National Examinations”. The agreement was introduced to align the collective bargaining processes with the published gazette (Government Notice 187; Gazette 34079) of 2011.

However, the tariffs inserted on page 3 of the Collective Agreement were in conflict with the above-mentioned gazette published in February 2011. The error was picked up and communicated to the unions. The financial implication of the error was that the provinces would have had to pay an additional R700 million which was not in their budgets.

The senior manager and middle manager responsible for the error were disciplined and given final written warnings for their negligence in this matter. As a result the Department did not proceed with the implementation of the erroneous agreement. The unions accepted in principle that a bona fide error had occurred and this led to the addendum to Collective Agreement 1 of 2011, which was signed on 18 December 2011.

In various meetings with unions held to discuss this matter the Director-General was assured of the support of the unions including SADTU in his attempts to find a solution. SADTU’s attitude began to change as the union failed to attend meetings arranged to discuss this matter. SADTU rejected various offers made by the department to find a resolution to this matter.

The union’s position on this matter has left the department with no option but to withdraw from the dispute it had lodged with the ELRC to clarify the validity of the agreement. This means in effect that the members of SADTU have gained nothing from the union’s intransigent position on this matter.

It is, therefore, unfortunate for the unions to continue to make demands that we pay based on the figures that they have agreed with us that were incorrect.

The dismissal of the Director-General

The Minister, in keeping with the directive of the president, is awaiting a report from the Public Service Commission on the investigation into the procurement of textbooks before she can consider the matter. When the Minister receives a report from the Commission only then will the matter be considered.

The Minister is committed and available to meet and discuss the issues raised by the union.

Statement issued by the Department of Basic Education, March 6 2013

The end of non-racialism?

Dave Steward says ANC rhetoric consistently characterises whites as “the other”

Dave Steward

In his recent address to the Cape Town Press Club Hlumelo Biko pointed to the increasing tendency within the ANC to “obectivise”, to “other” and to “border” non-black communities – and particularly whites. He warned that this process was not good news for those who are being objectivised.

 

 

 

What did he mean?

A speech by Jeff Radebe last month in Parliament provides some pointers regarding the manner in which the Government is ramping up its rhetoric. In a relatively short address, he referred no fewer than seven times to the depredations of the past –

 

  • to “apartheid colonialism”;
  • to “the struggle against colonialism and apartheid”;
  • to “the forces of colonialism and later of apartheid, on the one side, arrayed …against the forces of freedom and democracy on the other side;”
  •  to ” … the heroic stance by the United Nations when It declared apartheid a crime against humanity and a threat to world peace;”
  • to “…the untold suffering, strife and racial hatred sowed by apartheid…”; and
  • to “…the poverty trap and vicious cycle of inequality perpetrated by the legacy of apartheid and colonialism…”

 

Such references pepper most policy statements made by the ANC. Whatever their historic merit – or lack of merit – it would be surprising if they do not stir up some degree of racial animosity – or at the very least – reinforce perceptions of white moral inferiority and black entitlement. Inevitably they fuel demands for restitution – particularly of land – which most black South Africans firmly believe was stolen from their ancestors.

The message characterises whites as “the other” and places them beyond the border of “us” because they are presented as being either directly responsible for “apartheid colonialism” – or as being its present day heirs and beneficiaries. Whites are indelibly tarnished by the past – while blacks are identified with the forces of freedom and democracy. The “legacy of apartheid and colonialism” is routinely identified as the root cause of most of South Africa’s problems – and particularly of the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Increasing use is made of the term “apartheid colonialism” – implying that whites are transient alien interlopers. For example, the Green Paper on Land Reform proclaims that “all anti-colonial struggles are at the core about two things, repossession of lost land and restoring the centrality of indigenous culture” (i.e. placing blacks at the centre and “bordering” and “othering” minorities at the periphery).

The message continues that, in the second phase of national transition, the time has now arrived to take action against these vestiges of apartheid and colonialism.

All this raises questions about the degree to which non-racialism is still a core value of our new society, of our government and of the ruling alliance.

It is a question that was recently addressed by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation in a study of racial perceptions in a number of ANC branches in Guateng. The findings revealed “a growing sense of isolation and fracture among non-African constituencies” which could have “profound implications for the party’s (the ANC’s) ‘identity’ as a non-racial party.”

Although participants in the survey noted that the ANC “theoretically supports the ideal of non-racialism” they felt that there were “significant problems with race relations within the ANC, at all levels” – particularly in branches with strong minority membership – such as Eldorado Park, Sandton and Lenasia. Among the problems were perceptions of racism and the sense that non-Africans were excluded from leadership positions.

The authors of the study go on to discuss the ANC doctrine that the institutional racism of “colonialism of a special type” can be overcome only through the “empowerment of blacks in general and Africans in particular”. This will require “the radical restructuring of key aspects of the economy so as to destroy the material basis of the white racist power structure.” This process – which lies at the core of the ANC’s National Democratic Revolution – is described by Firoz Cachalia as “anti-racist-racism”. According to Pallo Jordan

“The movement adopted as policy the conscious and deliberate re-racialisation of South Africa by undertaking a host of measures, among which are affirmative action, to ensure that the results of decades of systematic discrimination and denial of job opportunities are reversed. In other words, the purpose of affirmative action is to create circumstances in which affirmative action will no longer be necessary.”

The ANC’s updated 2012 Strategy and Tactics document states that “the need for such affirmative action will decline in the same measure as all centres of power and influence and other critical spheres of social endeavour become broadly representative of the country’s demographics. In the process, all inequalities that may persist or arise need to be addressed.”

The “re-racialisation” of South Africa is gathering pace. The government rigidly allocates posts in the public service according to demographics – down to the first decimal point – regardless of merit or objective circumstances. Coloured employees of the Department of Correctional Services in the Western Cape are informed that they will not be promoted – because they have exceeded their national racial quota of 8.8%. 1 500 white members of the SAPS have been refused promotion to vacant officers posts because they have exceeded their 9% quota. Late last year Minister Rob Davies said that demographic representivity should also be applied to the private sector: “We need to make sure that in the country’s economy, control, ownership and leadership are reflective of the demographics of the society in the same way the political space does. ”

What we are experiencing is racial social engineering on a Verwoerdian scale, where once again, the course of South Africans’ lives is being determined by their race and not by individual merit. Because it will take generations to achieve broad demographic representivity in all centres of power and influence minority communities can expect to be subjected to “anti-racist racism” for the indefinite future. For all intents and purposes South Africa is no longer a non-racial society.

The “re-racialistion” of South Africa is the antithesis of the constitutional values of human dignity, equality and on-racialism on which our new society has been based. It contravenes South Africa’s international treaty obligations – and it will certainly destroy any hope of national unity. Without national unity we will have little chance of successfully implementing the National Development Plan or of addressing the many challenges that confront us – including the pressing need for a rational and workable transformation process.

Dave Steward is Executive Director of the FW de Klerk Foundation

ANC WCape expresses concern over new power grab Bill

Joyce Witbooi says DA govt is once again trying to override limitations on its powers

ANC expresses grave concerns over provincial bill

The ANC expresses its concerns regarding a new power grab bill whereby the DA run Western Cape provincial government aims to wrongly assume powers to control the South African Police Service.

This bill follows hot on the heels of the traffic legislation whereby the DA wants to override national legislation and overstretch its constitutionally limited powers to ban blue lights and sirens which is authorised by national legislation.

The latest bill also follows in the wake of the ill-considered Zille commission of inquiry into SAPS in Khayelitsha (which is fast becoming an exercise in fruitless and wasteful expenditure of about R6 million already pumped into it).

At the last meeting of the Western Cape provincial legislature‘s standing committee on community safety ANC representatives Joyce Witbooi and Khaya Magaxa expressed grave reservations about the limited public participation process to be followed.

The committee will only have three hearings on the new bill outside of Cape Town, and not in all regions. The hearings are scheduled for 22 January 2013 at 2pm in George civic hall, 23 January 2013 at 12pm in Beaufort West’s Urie Taylor Hall, 25 January 2013 at 11am in Vredendal’s Pietie Hamman Hall and lastly 29 January 2013 at 9 am in the Cape Town Provincial Building’s chamber (6thFloor, 7 Wale Street). Written submissions close at 12 noon on 16 January 2013.

The ANC insisted on the proper advertisement of the hearings and submissions in all media; and for notifications to be sent to all role-players as the hearings are due shortly after the festive season and holiday period.

“Unlike the ANC the DA does not promote public participation and turnouts are low. At some events during the past year the public did not come, saying they were not informed. The public need to be widely invited and actively encouraged to come.

“This is a mockery as public participation is not a mere optional nicety, but a Constitutional imperative. The people who will be affected by the legislation must be given ample opportunity to express their views and be heard.

“Thus far only six submissions were received. People must be alerted of this legislation which will dramatically impede on SAPS and change powers of SAPS given by national legislation.

“It is going to overstep onto the national level of governance because a province does not have the right to deal with the criminal justice system. The DA only targets SAPS and does not address municipal police under DA control (which has now become a pattern). The bill is a waste of taxpayer money, negative, repetitive, disjointed and duplicates national legislation. It also tries to overrule national operational control and is therefore totally unnecessary as most of the provisions are already in place,” says ANC MPL Joyce Witbooi.

The ANC says the DA government is trying once more to pass legislation outside of its assigned powers, which is in conflict with national laws (like the SA Police Act). It will only create unnecessary bureaucracy and is aimed at taking over the tasks of other watchdog institutions like the Independent Police Investigation Directorate and the Civilian Police Oversight Secretariat. This bill will in the long run be challenged in the highest court and become a waste of taxpayer money.

Statement issued by Joyce Witbooi , ANC Western Cape, December 5 2012

 

ANC rule ‘over by 2024’

The ANC is dying, and will lose its parliamentary majority at or before the 2024 national elections, says the head of the unit for risk analysis at the SA Institute of Race Relations.

In a policy brief published by the institute, Frans Cronje, who is also SAIRR deputy CEO, said the ruling party had entered a period of terminal decline.

Cronje said the party’s demise was now inevitable, and it was time for South Africans to start considering a future without it.

“We do not make this forecast recklessly but rather because the evidence points overwhelmingly in this direction,” said Cronje.

He said ANC support among South Africans was falling rapidly.

“It is true the ANC won 63 percent of the national vote in 1994 and increased that to 65.9 percent in 2009. However, this figure is misleading as it ignores the growing number of people who are choosing not to vote at all.

“While more than five out of 10 South Africans turned out to vote for the ANC in 1994, that figure (fell) to less than four out of 10 in the 2009 election. In a sense the ANC, for all its pretension as the ‘will of the people’, is now a minority government.”

The decline in ANC support did not result from an opposition party drawing its supporters, but from a growing number of people losing confidence in the party.

“Data from the police suggests that they are now responding to three service delivery protests every day.”

Cronje said the decline in ANC support and the rise in protest action had little to do with alleged failures in service delivery.

The drop in support had its origins in several areas. Among these he highlighted the overall failure of the public school system, and corruption.

“Only one out of every two black South Africans who enter Grade 1 will ever reach matric and only one out of 10 will pass maths. Hence black South Africans… have limited means to increase their own living standards outside of what the state, and by extension, the ANC can give them… “

The party had put candidates convicted of fraud and corruption on its election lists. “What this shows is that the ANC is not serious about addressing the failed education, low growth, unemployment, and corruption… If it is not addressing the reasons for its decline, it follows that the party must be in terminal decline,” Cronje said.

As to when the ANC’s national support levels would dip below 50 percent, opening the door to an opposition coalition to govern, “we think 2014 is too early, 2019 is plausible but uncertain, and 2024 is probable… “

Political analyst Professor Susan Booysen said Cronje’s analysis “is way out of touch with reality. It disregards the fact that many people who abstained from voting in recent elections, have also shown a vote of no-confidence in the DA. There is zero guarantee that their votes will convert to opposition support”.

Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni said Cronje’s assertion that the ANC would lose a parliamentary majority was based on an assumption there was a linear path of growth of the opposition. “But, as the opposition parties expand, we will see similar internal tensions to those in the ANC.”

Political Bureau