A leading teachers' union accused the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday of adopting DA policies.
"The call by KwaZulu-Natal secretary Sihle Zikalala to make education an essential service is yet another point that puts the provincial ruling party as the mouthpiece of the DA," SA Democratic Teachers' Union provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi said in a statement.
On Monday, Zikalala told reporters in Durban that the African National Congress would propose that education be declared an essential service at the national conference to be held later this month in Gauteng.
People working in essential services are not allowed to strike.
Mathonsi said Zikalala had not provided a logical explanation for the proposal.
"The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal takes the Cosatu [Congress of SA Trade Unions] unions as an irritant [rather] than as an important partner in the national democratic revolution.
"They are demonstrating the leadership that is intolerant of trade unions who believe that by banning public sector unions then they would have found a panacea for education challenges," Mathonsi said.
He said that if the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal continued its anti-worker and anti-union talk, Sadtu would withdraw its participation from all quality learning and teaching campaign initiatives.
"We can just easily instruct our members to work to the rule of seven to eight hours. You can take this as a promise, education will be a real disaster," Mathonsi said.
He also condemned the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal for supporting the youth wage subsidy, and said the party knew that the issue was still subject to debate by Cosatu and the ANC at a national level.
The Democratic Alliance supports the youth wage subsidy.