The urgent application by the child rights group will be heard in the Eastern Cape High Court on Thursday.
"This application arises out of the failure of the minister and the department of basic education to implement a court order of August 3, which directed the appointment of educators to vacant posts and to pay educators occupying those posts," Centre for Child Law (CCL) director Ann Skelton said.
Schools and their governing bodies have joined the CCL application. The CCL is being represented by the Legal Resources Centre.
Skelton said that in view of the failure, the applicants sought an order directing the department to appoint 140 teachers in 17 Eastern Cape schools.
"We call on Minister Motshekga to take urgent steps in terms of her powers to ensure that the crisis in the Eastern Cape is reversed and that teachers are appointed to vacant posts.
"Schools are being closed, children are not being taught, and further legal action was required in order to get teachers appointed," she said.
Sarah Sephton, regional director of the Legal Resources Centre in Grahamstown, said the situation was already "desperate" when the initial order was made by the court on August 3 last year.
On Tuesday, the South African Democratic Teachers' Union called for Motshekga to resign, saying it had lost confidence in her. "We … make a passionate call to the minister to do the honourable thing and take the road less travelled by submitting her resignation," Sadtu said.
The union accused Motshekga of withdrawing an agreement protecting collective bargaining. – Sapa