Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga breathes fire – This is why we are not closing schools


Angie flexes muscles and warns unions they’ll face the law.

Analysts have sided with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, saying she has a point in resisting unions’ call for schools to be closed in the light of Covid-19.

Motshekga is not backing down in either her back-to-school campaign or against the unions – SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), National Professional Teachers Organisation of SA (Naptosa) and National Teachers Union – pressuring her to close all schools until after the virus peak.

Instead, she flexed her muscles, warning should unions try to disrupt the schooling programme, she won’t hesitate to use law enforcement agencies against the perpetrators.

Observers saw this as her opportunity to be seen to be wielding power over Sadtu in particular, which had been a “bully” with never-ending protest actions that often brought schooling to a halt.

At least three analysts said Motshekga was right to insist schools should not close. It would be unwise to sacrifice the academic year, they said.

Political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana from the University of Johannesburg said instead of fighting, the government and unions must cooperate to ensure that personal protective equipment was supplied to schools.

“Motshekga is quite correct, life has to go on, as long as the regulations are observed, including the wearing of masks, sanitisation and keeping a social distance,” Ndletyana said.

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