Picture: THE TIMES
Picture: THE TIMES

Schooling was the hardest hit community service in the wake of union federation Cosatu’s nation-wide state-capture strike on Wednesday‚ with learners told to stay at home or turned back due to the absence of teachers.

In Atteridgeville‚ west of Pretoria‚ several schools were deserted with no teachers or students on site, and in some schools there were trickles of pupils and teachers‚ which forced the school management to call it a day.

A taxi driver, who transports students to school, said he had one in his mini-bus on Wednesday and there were very few students — who were also leaving — when he arrived at several schools he serves.

In some schools in Soshanguve‚ north of Pretoria‚ parents received text messages on Tuesday afternoon informing them not to send their children to school on Wednesday due to the strike.

Agata Seoketsa said she was called by her husband, who works in Maboloka in the North West, on Tuesday night to tell her he had received a text message from Mmabana Primary School in Block X informing him about the strike. "I think it was considerate of them to notify us because I would have prepared my son [who is seven] for school and he would have returned‚ only to find that I am not at home‚" she said.

In KwaMhlanga‚ north-east of Pretoria‚ teachers said their instruction from Cosatu was to report for duty as normal but knock off at 10am. A teacher, who did not want to be named, said they abided by the directive.

On Tuesday, Cosatu said workers‚ communities and civil society organisations made it very clear they would be joining the marches all across the country on Wednesday. The federation urged workers across the board to put petty sectarian differences aside and join the strike‚ saying it was a protected one.

Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the strike was about sending a message to both government and the private sector that workers and citizens are tired of corruption.

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