This thesis postulates that the inability of the post-apartheid government to deal decisively with the “legacies of apartheid education” is linked to the macro-educational policy trajectory endorsed by the African National Congress government in the early 1990s. It notes that post-apartheid education policymaking shows similarities with the National Party reforms initiated towards the end of the 1980s in education. In the late 1980s the apartheid government implemented a broad educational framework consonant with the rise of neo-liberal restructuring emerging internationally. It is argued that the teacher unions, and the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) in particular, were active role-players in shaping the new educational trajectory and discourse and that it was particularly because of the acquiescence of the unions that the government was able to embark on the road of neo-liberal restructuring with very little organised opposition. SADTU’s weak opposition to the rising influence of neo-liberal educational restructuring greatly facilitated the creation of a two-tier education system that South Africa is grappling with today, one for the rich and one for the poor.
Thesis (PhD (Education Policy Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2008.