AFTER nine months without pay, a teacher at Nomzamo Secondary School finally expects to be paid this month after fellow teachers put pressure on the department of education.
Teachers staged a sit-in at the school last week on behalf of Ntombethemba Tolwana, who was employed as a temporary teacher, but has not been paid her monthly salary since the beginning of this year, to date.
Last week Tolwana decided she is not going to work until the matter has been resolved.
Nomzamo principal Thandile Mkele told TotT that Tolwana is a young mother with a family to feed.
Another issue that is of great concern among the teachers is that Tolwana is the only tourism teacher at the school.
Apart from the fact that exams are around the corner, the school wants to ensure that this matter is resolved.
Tolwana started teaching at Nomzamo in 2009, during the time Mzoxolo Manona was appointed tourism teacher, and there were no problems with her remuneration until this year, Mkele said.
“I phoned the (education department’s) deputy director of human resources, Ms Mbaba, who informed me that the documents have to go through the director, chief financial officer and head of department,” he said.
Last Thursday the teachers planned to go to the education department’s head office in Bhisho to confront officials in attempt to get answers regarding this matter.
But they received information that a department of education delegation would be in Port Alfred.
The teachers cornered the education department delegation at Halyards Hotel in an attempt to resolve the matter.
Accompanying the staff from Nomzamo were representatives of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) and their site committee.
They managed to get hold of Mthunywa Ngonzo, who is the head of department in Bhisho who attended to this matter.
Ngonzo said the reason Tolwana was not being paid is that certain documents were lost and the district office had not submitted the relevant documents.
But Tolwana told TotT she had been sending her documents through to the district office at her own cost.
“We apologise for to people who have not been paid,” said Ngonzo.
“The department’s system is being cleansed,” he added. “The matter will be resolved.”
Another education department official, Llewellyn Stowmans said: “This case was not on our list because matters similar to this one have been attended to.”
Stowman also said the department would create a post for Tolwana to fill.
The department of education had also stopped paying for Tolwana’s university bursary without any reason, neither did they inform her about it, she said.
Tolwana said she received an sms from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, notifying her that registration will commence in February and when she went to register she was told by the university that the department is no longer paying for her studies.
“I don’t understand why they stopped because I passed. I would understand if it was otherwise,” she said.
The education department is still investigating why Tolwana’s bursary was cancelled.
This week Mkele informed TotT that Tolwana was assured by the department that she will be paid soon.