Sunnyside Primary School in Athlone has launched a BackaBuddy campaign to raise funds for its school governing body, teachers and support staff. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Sunnyside Primary School in Athlone has launched a BackaBuddy campaign to raise funds for its school governing body, teachers and support staff. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Crowdfunding campaign to help pay 8000 Western Cape SGB teachers

By Chegofatso Modika Time of article published Jun 27, 2020

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Cape Town - The Western Cape has as many as 8000 school governing body-appointed teachers, some of whom have not been paid in months.

But at Sunnyside Primary School in Athlone, an initiative has been started to help raise money to pay their SGB teachers.

Physical distancing restrictions prohibit the school from hosting fund-raising activities, so it has established a crowd fund on BackaBuddy to raise as much as R70000 by month-end. As of yesterday, almost R20000 had been raised.

Grade 3 teacher Chantal Bredenkamp said: “We at Sunnyside Primary School have teachers who are paid by the school, and because of the pandemic, we cannot raise funds and we could lose our teachers and support staff.

“This would mean overcrowding in classrooms and these teachers would also not be able to support their families.”

Aneesah Sadan added: “As a SGB teacher my livelihood depends on my salary because I have a family to support and bills to pay.

“I am at work every day to ensure pupil receive their work packs in order to continue their schooling remotely. There are lots of uncertainties about my place here at Sunnyside because I haven’t been paid for the last month, and this month... I will only get paid a portion of my salary.

“But I am hoping that this campaign will help me keep my place here. I would not want to leave my colleagues stranded as well... because this is an absolutely great school.”

Samantha Leaner, who has worked at the school since 2000 and serves as a representative on its governing body, said: “We have seven people employed by the SGB: three teachers, three teacher assistants and one is a financial officer. We have 16 government employees and four people part of the support staff.

“All these SGB teachers perform many other duties and all the assistants are in our foundation phase. They assist with all activities such as fund-raisers. They step in wherever needed, regardless of what the duties are. They hand out the packs, collect data, help with screening and so much more.

“The average salary of a teacher on a contract is R10000, but the teachers employed by the SGB get a minimum salary compared to the government-paid teachers. Contract teachers get paid more than the average teacher and it’s about R25000 after deductions.”

The salary of an SGB teacher was never the same, Leaner added, because it was subject to what the school could afford and if they were prepared to work for that amount.

Paul Colditz, chief executive of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools, was unable to comment on the matter.

Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said when it came to SGB employees, they were not the employers who determined salary scales and the terms of contracts.

WEEKEND ARGUS

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