Sadtu secretary-general Mugwena Maluleke. Picture: Chris Collingridge/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has announced its plans to push for the 2021 local government elections to be postponed to 2024 so that they are held alongside the provincial and national elections.

At its national elective congress which concluded at the weekend, the union resolved to push for an act of Parliament to help ensure that all elections are held at the same time as part of strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of government.

Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said Parliament would have to be pushed through the ANC to formulate a bill which would enable their policy resolution.

“We want a situation where when the elections are held, all the spheres of government do those particular elections once because it creates more problems currently. That particular synergy is important in terms of the resources that we have but also in terms of assessing the work of government,” Maluleke said.

Maluleke, however, admitted that pushing for the legislation and the postponement of the elections would be an uphill battle.

“Through Cosatu, we will lobby the tripartite alliance as a whole. We will also use our own platforms where we are able to engage directly with the ANC and its structures on the ground. The many branches are run by members of Sadtu. We have branch chairpersons and secretaries, so we will lobby throughout all those structures.”

Maluleke reiterated that Sadtu planned to stop its electoral support for the ANC and back the SACP should the party finally resolve to contest elections independently in the 2021 local government elections.

This came after the union resolved at its national congress that workers would have to side with the SACP if it were to contest independently alongside the ANC at the polls.

The SACP is currently preparing for its special national congress in December where it will make a final decision on whether to contest elections in 2021.

Maluleke explained that Cosatu and its affiliates would have to quickly convene their special congresses to solidify their elections.

“Whilst we are part of the SACP in terms of the left axis, there will also be a proper special congress that decides on the support of the SACP,” he said.

Maluleke stressed that the special congresses would not be because the unions and Cosatu would change their posture but avoid confusion of voters on who to back and to demonstrate that the decision to support the SACP by workers was democratic.