Western Cape schools to stay open despite planned national strike

24 April 2018 - 14:41 By Nora Shelly
Western Cape MEC of Education‚ Debbie Schafer. File photo.
Western Cape MEC of Education‚ Debbie Schafer. File photo.
Image: Supplied

Despite social media posts warning schools will close due to the impending workers’ strike‚ a Western Cape official says schools across the province will remain open on Wednesday.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions is calling on workers across the country to join a general strike against the national minimum wage and other changes to labour laws.

Western Cape minister of education Debbie Schäfer said in a statement on Tuesday that the strike was not a legitimate reason for schools to close. She noted that there were multiple rumours and false news reports circulating online saying schools would be closed from Wednesday to May 2.

Schäfer said she understood the posts had caused alarm among parents‚ teachers and learners.

“These [posts] are not true and we urge parents‚ learners and members of the public to not share this fake news‚” Schäfer said in her statement.

The Saftu action comes as bus drivers continue a strike that has stranded commuters across the country. The Saftu strike is expected to have an impact across the different sectors of the economy‚ including the manufacturing sector.

In response to social media posts warning people to stay inside during the strike‚ Saftu said that the general public had no reason to fear for their safety.

Schäfer said schools should expect some learners to be late for school or miss it altogether due to the strike. Commuter schools may be particularly affected‚ she said.

“Our schools will however accommodate learners as far as possible and arrange catch-up sessions for those learners who missed a significant part the day’s lessons‚” she said.

Saftu is opposing the proposed R20 minimum hourly wage as well as changes to the labour law‚ which they say will hurt the ability of unions to strike.