The Democratic Alliance is deeply perturbed by the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape for indefinitely withholding the issuing of the final staff establishments for individual schools for 2010.

It is regrettable that, after having praised the Department of Education in December 2009 for the declaration of the provisional post provisioning for schools, the department has succumbed to pressure by teachers unions not to deliver on its statutory responsibilities.

The Democratic Alliance finds it deplorable that after the December 2009 consultative process with the unions was concluded on the basis of consensus reached, the unions have now suddenly had a change of heart. This disagreement prevents the MEC from declaring the number of posts in the province, and also for the Superintendent General of the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape to determine the staff establishments for each individual school.

All these challenges were on the table during the consultative process in December 2009, but now, a mere three months later, the process is being rejected.

It is imperative that consensus be reached between the unions and the MEC for Education. However, if consensus cannot be attained after a predetermined number of consultative meetings, the MEC has the prerogative to then declare the number of posts in the province.

Staff Establishments of schools have remained static since 2008, while pupil enrolment has increased or decreased in some schools. This is extremely detrimental for the smooth running and functioning of education in this province. It implies that schools that are growing in learner enrolment will not be afforded additional educators, and those with declining learner numbers will have an oversupply of educators, resulting in a mismatch and an uneven spread of resources.

The Democratic Alliance wants to affirm unashamedly, that for our learners to prosper, opportunities must be created to provide a better education by ensuring that all resources are distributed equitably and fairly. Education is the foundation for opportunities and no schooling system can thrive unless it is driven by a sufficient number of talented, motivated and adequately supported educators.

The Democratic Alliance challenges the MEC for Education in the Eastern Cape, Mahlubandile Qwase, to execute his constitutional and legislative mandate, in declaring the 2010 Post Establishment for the province as per section 5(1) (b) of the Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 before re-opening of schools on 12 April 2010.

For further information, please contact Edmund van Vuuren, MPL on 072 184 7840

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