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Limpopo teachers go to court over millions

Limpopo - Hundreds of teachers have instituted a R174 million lawsuit against Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Limpopo Education MEC Dikeledi Magadzi.

The multimillion-rand lawsuit relates to the non-payment of rural allowances that Motshekga’s predecessor, Naledi Pandor, had promised them.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Pandor placed a notice in the Government Gazette in December 2007, showing that R500m had been allocated for the 2007/08 financial year to incentivise teachers at remote, poor and no-fee schools.

Eligible individual teachers were to receive the R1 300 monthly allowance from January 2008, according to court papers.

KwaZulu-Natal had received the lion’s share of R114.55m for that year, while Limpopo got R70.06m – the third largest allocation.

The half-a-billion rand national allocation was set to be adjusted annually in line with the consumer price index, the notice, contained in court document, states.

A total of 203 teachers from schools in Limpopo have filed the lawsuit in the Polokwane Circuit Court of the High Court in Pretoria.

They claim they have not been paid a single cent.

Between January 2008 and October last year, education authorities owed just more than R80 000 per individual from the 203 teachers who lodged the civil case.

Teachers argue that the debt accumulates monthly.

Fridah Marokane, a maths and English teacher at Makhuma Combined School in Sehlakwana village, is one of those who lodged the civil claim.

The department owed her more than R80 000, she said.

The Basic Education Department had not responded to e-mailed questions by late on Wednesday.

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