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African teachers in general and South Africans in particular face tremendous challenges, several of which are curriculum related. These challenges manifest themselves at various levels and in various areas, that is, from national level to within the classroom. There are various role players who may make a contribution towards overcoming these challenges. It is imperative that each role player must be able to make a significant contribution. Clair and Adgers (2001:17) are of the opinion that school reform efforts must ensure that schools become centres of excellence for all students. This creates certain challenges for teachers, and in turn, demands a certain empowerment of them in order to achieve the vision of excellence in a diverse society with diverse needs (Carl, 2002:03). The purpose of this study was to explore the challenges experienced by South African teachers in the school curriculum and the causes of their poor performance in the teaching-learning situation. It became evident that some of the challenges are as a result of current and recurrent changes in the school curriculum. The researcher used a qualitative research methodology whereby a case study design was followed. The study used purposive sampling where four schools including both primary and secondary schools from the Eastern Cape (hereafter referred to as EC) Province were selected as sites for the study. EC Province is more disadvantaged in terms of resources as compared to the other Provinces in South Africa. Four teachers from each school were chosen as respondents. Data was collected through interviews and observations. Although the study was conducted in EC, it became evident from the findings that it is still a mammoth task country wide for teachers to implement the curriculum effectively. In the South African context, the problem manifests itself in a special way and the question remains, namely, what challenges do teachers in primary and secondary schools experience? The following challenges were identified when research was conducted; inadequate resources, a poor career path, HIV and AIDS pandemic, contractual employment, low remuneration, heavy workload and placement. These are critical issues of compliance if South Africa is going to overcome its past and build a culture of learning and tolerance that embraces and defines its political and educational future. The imbalances of international influences at the expense of teachers need to be rigorously redefined at school level. The study recommends that the National Ministry of Education (MOE) should have some mechanisms in place for remedying this unenviable situation.