Hon Chairperson, with your kind permission, given the fact that I was the Chief Whip at the time that the hon Rev Chabaku was here, may I please convey my condolences to her family and the organisation that she belonged to. She was indeed an eloquent and erudite person, very robust in debate, a wonderful spiritual leader and, what is more important to me in the capacity in which I now serve, a long- serving and dedicated teacher. I thought that I would like to pay her this tribute. Thank you for the opportunity.
The response to the question is as follows. Yes, the matter of disparities in salaries and grading of office-based educator posts was first discussed in a meeting with the Heads of Department Committee, Headcom. In that Headcom meeting it was recommended that a task team, including the provincial education departments, be established to draft a proposal on the standardisation of posts in districts and circuits.
A task team was indeed set up and produced a report which was further discussed by Headcom. The task team found that four of the five provincial departments that reacted to the challenge did not adhere to the provisions of the existing regulations that govern the post and salary structure of educators. This is with reference to Collective Agreement No 4 of 2003 and No 1 of 2008, whichever is relevant in each case.
The answer to the second part of the question is this. Yes, Headcom has acknowledged that resolving the issue by reversing the administrative action taken previously will be very costly, and it cannot be implemented as a one-off action. This will include reversing the salaries of the affected officials to where they would have been had the changes not been implemented, and possibly recovering the monies from such officials.
This suggests that going forward the focus should be on formalising the post and salary structure for office-based educators in line with the provisions of the occupation-specific dispensation agreement, and finding mechanisms to recover any overexpenditure in a way that does not impoverish any official through drastic steps to remedy this.
Formalising the post and salary structure would include the review of the post of a circuit manager or school management developer, SMD, in terms of their roles and responsibilities in relation to improving service delivery to schools. The occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, already provides for three levels of circuit managers: C1, C2 and C3, with norms according to the number of schools. However, details in regard to roles, responsibilities and delegations still need to be worked out by the Headcom meeting. Thank you very much.
Position regarding lack of funds for scholar transport in Eastern Cape and steps to remedy the situation
40. Mrs E C van Lingen (DA) asked the Minister of Basic Education: (1) Whether she has been informed of the lack of funds for scholar transport in the Eastern Cape; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) steps have been taken to remedy the situation and (b) are the further relevant details;
(2) what (a) measures and (b) strategies are in place to ensure that scholar transport will be provided for the 2012 academic year in the Eastern Cape? CO283E