Eastern Cape teacher unions threaten strike action over stationary shortages

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Teacher unions in the Eastern Cape are threatening to embark on a strike following what they say is the failure of the Eastern Cape Education Department to deliver Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) on time.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) and the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) are calling for the decentralisation of procurement of the material.

Over 3 000 out of 5 000 schools in the province are yet to receive stationery.

Vukuhambe Special School in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape is among schools in the province affected by the late delivery of stationery.

Parents at the school say they cannot afford to purchase these materials.

The concerned parents say the future of their children looks bleak without the necessary and timeous support from the Education Department.

SGB Chairperson at the school Amanda Somekethe says, “Ever since l have been here, we have never received money for stationery, we are expected to buy it from our own pockets. It has never been delivered.”


Unions believe that these delays are counter-productive considering the improvement of Matric results from the class of 2021 currently sitting at 73% from 68% in the previous year.

Sadtu believes that incompetence is at the centre of the non-delivery of learner support materials at the schools.

Sadtu Provincial Secretary Chris Mdingi says, “All we think we can do now is to embark on an action, very big action that has never been seen before if the authorities that be are not heeding the call.”

Naptosa’s Provincial CEO Loyiso Mbinda says this has a negative impact on the academic calendar because teachers are unable to make time on tasks because there is no stationery for the learners to write.

In the report below, Eastern Cape sees improvement in matric results: 

Department promises to deliver

The provincial Education Department has committed to deliver stationery to affected schools as soon as possible.

Acting DG Thembani Mtyida says they have already started delivering stationery to some of the affected schools.

“We are now working very hard to ensure all schools are receiving stationery in fact, we started on Wednesday last week to see some trucks delivering material in our schools. We continued this weekend, and we can also see that during this week that the pace is going to increase so towards the end of this we think we should be around 90% in delivering our LTSM.”

Unions have given the Education Department seven working days to resolve this matter.