Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Photo: Thobile Mathonsi

Cape Town - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga could be dragged to court over extra pay for teachers and principals, the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools (Fedsas) and the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie said on Sunday.

The two governing body organisations said they had launched an application in the Cape Town High Court to have regulations on additional remuneration declared unlawful.

Earlier this year, there was an uproar over changes to the SA Schools Act. At the time, Motshekga said fees at former Model C schools were “galloping” because of the bonuses paid to principals.

Apart from banning these bonuses the regulations also restrict tovertime.

Fedsas CEO Paul Colditz said on Sunday that the regulations were responsible for teachers in Dubai and England not wanting to return to SA and, for those who remained here, leaving the public system for private schools.

“If we want to have quality education we need to step it up. At our member schools, teachers are expected to teach for six and a half hours a day… assist the governing bodies with fund-raising, extra-curricular activities and marketing.”

Fedsas claims a membership of 1 400 schools in SA.

In the joint statement the two organisations argue that, following comment by stakeholders including themselves on the original regulations in 2009, no further discussions took place over the next two years. When the changes were gazetted, during the 2011 school holidays, the regulations were in their original form.

“We have a huge shortage of committed and properly qualified teachers… If we have to lose them as well, because there is no tangible reward for their hard work, the entire system will collapse.”

National education department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said on Sunday they was prepared to go to court to show the consultation process had been properly conducted. - The Mercury