The IFP is shocked and dismayed to learn about the plans to retrench thousands of workers in the KZN Department of Education, including teachers.
According to the KZN MEC for Education, Kwazi Mshengu, the KZN Provincial Treasury has told the Department to cut staff numbers.
Mshengu stated that the plan called for the Department to cut over 6 000 staff, including more than 2 000 teachers.
This is a recipe for disaster.
We want to state categorically that as the IFP, we are against this ill-advised decision by the KZN Provincial Treasury. We demand that the KZN MEC for Education inform the IFP of how many schools will be affected by this retrenchment process. Further, when will the process will be rolled out? What procedure will be used to determine which teachers will be retrenched? Why were people encouraged to pursue the teaching profession, with some even awarded Funza Lushaka Bursaries, if no positions were available?
All these questions must be answered by the KZN MEC for Education. These proposed retrenchments will result in many schools losing teachers, and learners will be affected.
Teachers cannot pay the price because the ANC-led government failed to create jobs. The high rate of unemployment in the country is alarming and yet the KZN Department of Education wants to retrench teachers and staff. We have many unemployed graduates left sitting at home, due to the ANC's lacklustre attitude towards job creation.
The IFP calls upon the KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, to reject this plan for the mass retrenchment of teachers and staff in the KZN Department of Education. If his government is truly concerned about unemployment, this decision must be reversed urgently and other avenues explored to cut costs within the Department.