sa_strike2.jpg  Public Sector Demo in South Africa South African Teachers are on strike with their colleagues in other parts of the public sector including health and government offices The workers are demanding a pay rise and improved housing allowances. Teachers in South Africa earn an average salary of $15,000 per year and often work in very poor conditions - run down buildings, limited teaching materials and oversized classes. In a rally last week,  Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of COSATU (the South African Trade Union Congress) compared public servants' salaries to those of the President Jacob Zuma The BBC reports: "I asked the president a while ago what he is earning," he told the crowd. "If my memory serves me right he is earning more than 2.2m rand [about $300,000, £190,000]," he said to a roar of disapproval, the South African Press Association reports. The leadership of SADTU have put the blame squarely at the door of the government and its economic policies. In a statement on the strike, they condemn statements by Jacob Zuma and state: 'The government has a responsibility to honour the demands by workers without trivialising them. Politics cannot be separated from the struggle for labour rights. It must be clear that wages cannot be separated from service delivery, so is politics. The current macroeconomic policy, which is a political matter, is responsible for low wages in the public services.' Despite the heroic struggles of the South African people to free themselves from apartheid there is still a huge gap between rich and poor in South Africa with corporations making massive profits from the country. A South African government website gives the following encouragement to investors: 'Global companies with a presence in South Africa all cite numerous advantages for setting up shop in the country, from low labour costs to excellent infrastructure - and a base to export products internationally. 'Jim Myers, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa, says that nearly 50% of the chamber's members are Fortune 500 companies, and that over 90% operate beyond South Africa's borders into southern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and across the continent. ' Meanwhile education is underfunded and teachers and other public service workers are underpaid.