Johannesburg - An amount of R2.3bn is being paid by the education department to teachers whose posts were abolished, the Sunday Times reported.
Teaching posts are cut when pupil numbers drop at a school or a subject is phased out. The Eastern Cape has 8 825 vacancies, and 6 378 surplus teachers.
The Sunday newspaper established that a teacher in Limpopo has not taught a lesson in two years since her post was scrapped.
KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Senzo Mchunu said having surplus teachers was a "sheer waste of public money".
There is a national shortage of 15 000 teachers.