Nehawu National Office Bearers, Tebello Mokoena, Moloantoa Molaba, S’thembiso Shezi.
Editor in Chief:
Contributors to this issue
Tebello Mokoena, Nomthandazo Sikiti, Pat Motubatsi, Nobantu Mayekiso, Dr. David Spencer,
John Devenish, Sello Morajane, Tebogo Phadu, Mbuyiselo Mantantana, Fikile Majola.
Design, Layout and Printing:
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56 Marshall Street
Telephone: (011) 833 2902 • Facsimile: (011) 834 3416
E-mail: email@example.com • Website: http://www.nehawu.org.za
Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Letters to the Editor 4
Interview with Nehawu 1st Deputy President 7
National Women’s Day Celebration 9
Men’s Indaba Declaration 10
Surviving the HIV pandemic 12
Report back from Cosatu CC meeting 17
National Skills Indaba 19
Nehawu Revives Bursary Scheme 20
Women leadership development programme 20
Revamping our International Relations Work 21
Nehawu Legal Department ready to bite 23
Know your officers 24
Nehawu Website re-launched 25
Focus on North West Province 26
Can the South African working class defend its own revolution? 29
Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution 31
Obituary – Buti Simon “ Ace” Kgosana 33
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker
o this issue of our magazine! We are
T coming closer to the end of what many
consider to have been the most hectic year
for the democratic trade union movement.
As the year comes to an end, most of us will
take well deserved rests, those who can
afford will go on holidays and for the majority
of workers this will be time for visiting our
loved ones in the cities, towns and villages of
our country. We wish all of you a merry
Christmas and a happy New Year! We hope
to see you all well refreshed in the new year! Fikile Majola - Editor in Chief
membership Bargaining Workshop
n preparation for next year’s round of
T he 7th congress mandated us to grow the
union’s membership significantly. For this
I wage negotiations, we have convened a
National Collective Bargaining Workshop
reason, our provinces, regions and branches all during the month of November 2005. We will
threw themselves behind the union’s use the workshop to assess our performance
recruitment drive. A number of provinces during this past round of wage negotiations;
reported a growth in membership, indicating we will also do an analysis of our strengths
that the recruitment drive is beginning to bear and weaknesses on a sector by sector basis
fruits. We hope to do a full assessment of the so that we can take appropriate action to
success of the programme during the coming strengthen areas that we will identify as
Central Executive Committee meeting at the needing assistance. We will also emerge
end of November 2005 and hopefully, with a framework of demands that will guide
redouble our efforts in 2006. our collective bargaining work in 2006,
across all of our sectors. The ideas and
proposals from the workshop will lay a basis
Fallen Heroes memorial - for further discussion in the Bargaining
Vuyani Mabaxa and others Conference planned for 2006.
Our President cde Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya
had the honour of addressing the fallen heroes’
memorial organized by the ANC branch in
Diepkloof-Soweto in collaboration with our Chris
Hani-Baragwanath Branch. The memorial IN NOVEMBER
included unveiling a plague at the Vuyani
Mabaxa Square, named after cde Vuyani ur CEC in its up coming meeting on the
Mabaxa- a former Nehawu Organiser in
Johannesburg, who was murdered by the police
O 26th-27th November will do an
assessment of the state of our union, review
in October 1991. The progress that the country our work over the past year and pronounce
has made to date is as a result of the contribution on work to be done by all structures in the
made by young, militant and fearless comrades coming year. Of particular importance is the
such as Vuyani Mabaxa. As we look back at the state of our branches across the country. The
achievements we have made as a union, we assessments done by provinces will enable
also look back with pride at the role which our us to understand the challenges faced by
fallen heroes and stalwarts played. The courage union branches and help us plan an
and militancy of these heroes has helped to intervention in a manner that addresses
shape the history of our union and turning it into these challenges.
the giant it is today!
4 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
Nehawu Service Delivery Campaign
n memory of the fallen heroes of our movement and our union in particular,
we plan to launch a service delivery campaign very soon. The campaign
aims to highlight the deteriorating state of our public services such as health.
Over the years, we have seen a drop in the funding levels of public services,
informed mainly by the macro-economic policy of GEAR. The reduced
funding has resulted in the deterioration that we see today, where hospital are
struggling to provide services due to staff shortages, lack of equipment and
medicines and the generally deteriorating state of hospital facilities and buildings. Our campaign
aims to put these problems into context and propose solutions, in conjunction with other stake
COSATU Jobs and poverty campaign,
Central Committee meeting
he 2nd phase of COSATU’s jobs and poverty campaign has been
largely successful. Across the country, workers joined the campaign
in their thousands to send a message to business and government that
it cannot be business as usual when thousands of workers lose their jobs
and are condemned to a life of poverty, due to policies that do not
encourage job creation. COSATU held a very successful Central
Committee meeting on the 15-18 August 2005. We report on some of the key resolution
passed by the Central Committee here.
THE SACP’S RED OCTOBER CAMPAIGN
or this year’s Red October Campaign, the SACP chose to focus on the problem of hunger and
F food security. The slogan for this campaign is “Fight Hunger, Demand Food Security for All”. In
the words of the SACP General Secretary, Cde Blade Nzimande: “…The primary aim of the
campaign is to harmonise some of our major existing campaigns on transforming the financial
sector, building co-operatives, accelerated land and agrarian reform and the struggle for a new
growth path…”. It’s not an accident that the Red October campaign focuses on the same issues
as COSATU’s jobs and poverty campaign! There is a view that unemployment and poverty in the
country have reached a crisis and should be treated as such. We agree with this view point.
ANC NEC decision on the Jacob Zuma matter
ur commentary in the June/July issue cautioned, the movement resulting from how comrade Jacob
O amid a lot of media hysteria, that in what we say
or do in the aftermath of the dismissal of cde Jacob
Zuma’s matter was handled. The Alliance leadership
will have the opportunity to interact with the report
Zuma as the Deputy President of the Republic, we and provide leadership to all our structures in terms of
must not compromise the unity of the motive how to move forward.
forces of the National Democratic The Jacob Zuma matter has given
Revolution. This call is more relevant now, as rise to an important debate about the
it was then! The central call from COSATU, character of the ANC in the context of
the SACP and the ANC Youth League was the succession debate. The working
for the ANC as a leader of our movement class, as a primary motive force in the
to provide leadership in this matter. To a National Democratic Revolution, must
large extend, the decision of the ANC NEC now consciously assert itself to, in the
of affording the President of the ANC and words of COSATU General
the Deputy President an opportunity to Secretary,…” rightfully claim the ANC
engage and come up with as theirs …” This means that workers
recommendations on how the impasse must return in their numbers to their ANC
should be resolved, points to attempts to do so, and branches and participate so that the voice of the
is therefore welcomed. The two comrades will submit working class can find expression in the policies,
a comprehensive report that include clear resolutions and pronouncements of the ANC as a
recommendations on how to heal the apparent rift in leader of our movement.
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 5
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS
lthough no date has been set as yet, preparations for local government elections are
A proceeding across the country. In line with the call for ensuring that the next decade of
democracy must benefit the working class and the poor, we call
on all members and activists to get involved in campaigning for
an overwhelming ANC victory in the coming elections. We are
confident that, as in past elections, our activists will make
themselves available for this task as campaigning takes off the
Fikile Majola • Editor in Chief
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
END DUAL ROLES, FO
R THE DEMOCRATIC MO
VEMENT ’S SAKE!
In recent times, especially
in the light of Cde Zuma
possible abuse of public ’s issue, we have heard acc
resources to fight party-pol usations and counter-accus
neither here nor there. itical battles within the AN ations about the
C. Whether this is percep
tion or fact is
For as long as the situatio
n exists where a comrade
ground is fertilized for suc can be both a political lead
h tendencies to grow. It er and a public servant at
serving as Regional Execut is a failure of our deploy the same time,
ive Committee member of ment strategy that you can
District Council. the ANC and at the sam have a comrade
e time being a Municipal
Manager of the
What this means is that thi
s comrade is in fact a pol
ANC hold such a comrad itical head of his employer
e accountable? If the munic s. How can municipal cou
who is at the same time the ipal council takes a resolut ncil led by the
Executive member of the ion to discipline the munic
collectively with other com ANC, then in the latter cap ipal manager
mittee members) the cou acity the comrade can rev
ncil’s decision. erse (of course
This, to me, seems to be
in violation of the good cor
there be a division of role porate governance princi
s. You can say corporate gov ples. Corporate governanc
the separation of powers ernance is to the political e demands that
is to the political system entities vis-à-vis the adminis
problems of accountabilit as a whole. Blurring of pol tration, what
y and makes nonsense of itical and administrative
the employer-employee rela roles causes untold
The practical example of
the confusion brought by
and senior ANC leader. It this dualism is the case of
was a difficult decision to Truman Prins, a Karoo’s Mu
over his fate. make as to whether it wa nicipal Manager
s Council or ANC which
Today some of us cannot
help but wonder how mu
the National Intelligence ch is political and how mu
Agency’s (NIA) managers. ch is labour relations in the
minister or officials of the The problem is that all the suspensions of
NIA. role players are active pol
iticians, be they
To solve this problem a dec
ision has to be made tha
hold leadership positions t those deployed in the adm
in the ANC or SACP. As inistrations must not at the
and knowledge in other cap ordinary members of the same time
acities. ANC and/or SACP they
can avail their skills
Dividing roles can also hav
e practical value in terms
political public service in of fighting corruption and
the long-term. enhancing values of profess
Member of ANC and SA
CP and Manager at Masilo
He writes in his personal nyana Municipality, Free
This is a thought provok
ing issue which needs deb
challenge and engage you ate! I am sure that Nehaw
in a debate. u Worker readers will tak
e up the
6 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
with LULAMILE SOTAKA -
NEHAWU 1ST DEPUTY PRESIDENT!
In this issue we interview Lulamile
Sotaka- 1st Deputy President of
Nehawu as part of a series of
interviews with Nehawu National
Nehawu Worker – Cde Sotaka you are
one of the longest serving NOB in the
union having been elected for the 1st
time in 1993, to what do you ascribe
Lulamile Sotaka – Well, the union is
about collectivism! I have worked with
over four collectives of leadership up
to now. I believe the successes that
the union has made to this date have
largely been as a result of these
collectives. This is what has kept me
going for all these years! Together,
these collectives have contributed to
shaping the character and history of
the union over the years.
NW - You are also the President of the
Trade Union International for Public
and Allied Employees (TUI), how
relevant is the TUI in the present
LS - It responds to the challenges
facing public sector workers across the
globe! You see! It was not easy to take
a decision to affiliate to the TUI as we Lulamile Sotaka - NEHAWU 1st Deputy President
were already affiliated to the PSI.
These are two opposing bodies, yet working towards the same objective. As NEHAWU, we are
ideologically closer to the TUI than are to the PSI. This is historical, as the parent body of the TUI; the
WFTU was formed by trade union federations that espoused socialism. The imperialist aggression that
we witness today as shown by for example, the structural adjustment programmes as pursued by the
IMF/World Bank and the WTO, shows just how relevant the TUI and WFTU are as these policies have
resulted in much suffering amongst the working class and poor peoples of the world. We need
international trade union centres that not only seek to mediate these policies, but that challenge
them and put across alternatives.
NW – What in your view, is the biggest challenge facing the working class across the globe today?
LS – Joblessness! Shedding of jobs by economies across the globe is the biggest challenge, and this
is followed by poverty as people in most societies and communities depend on those who bring
home wages. Taking away jobs, you condemn these communities to poverty! Today, across the
globe, if you read a newspaper, you will be told of this or that company that is retrenching so many
workers, this is almost a daily occurrence. This linked to the downgrading of the working conditions of
workers through programmes such as privatization, outsourcing, labour market flexibility etc. Through
these programmes, the living conditions of working people take a downward spiral as workers in
privatized entities lose other benefits such as health care and social security services. The only way of
describing this is that its inhuman, as companies seems to be only interested in profits and care less
about the well being of those who generate these profits!
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 7
NW – Given this challenge, would you say a different world is possible?
LS – Certainly! Oppression gives rise to resistance! The challenge I have outlined is a challenge of
oppression and subjugation of one class by the other and this will give rise to resistance by the
working class and a desire in the long term to overthrow this system! It will not happen overnight, but
we are beginning to see the signs. Progressive forces are beginning to organize on a global scale to
resist this imperialist hegemony as shown by for example, Porto Allegre in South America, Mumbai in
NW – You speak about what happens on a global scale, what can workers at a local level do to
challenge this hegemony?
LS – A lot! We need to link our struggles with the struggles of the Oppression gives rise
communities where we live. As workers, we must be rooted in to resistance! The
our own communities. If for example, a local hospital is
privatized, the surrounding community will not be able to access
challenge I have
services there without paying. The same applies to other services outlined is a
such as water. At a different level, we can use the twinning challenge of
arrangements we have with other unions internationally to share
experiences and facilitate worker to worker contact so that
workers can see that their problems are not unique. subjugation of one
class by the other
NW – You have touched on the role of international trade union
centres; given their past divisions that were based on ideology;
and this will give rise
do you think unity is possible in the current juncture? to resistance by the
working class and a
LS – Yes unity is possible! It may not happen in our life time, but it
is possible. There is a history behind these divisions, which span
desire in the long
over 60 years! The cold war divisions did not end with the break term to overthrow
up of the Soviet Union or the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Although this system!
as the two main centres (WFTU and ICFTU) do an analysis of the
challenges facing workers today may come to the same conclusions, the difference will be on the
methods of dealing with the challenges. That’s where the main problem is. Although we in the TUI
have taken the step of agreeing on the need for the merger between us and the PSI, this will have
challenges of its own. But we should pursue it as it’s the workers who are suffering. Mergers are not
easy, even in organizations that agree ideologically. Take the example of the merger between
SARHWU and T&GWU which resulted in the formation of SATAWU. It took longer, but it happened!
NW – Who is Lulamile, the person?
LS – Laughs! Well this is the most difficult question! I have never given it a thought! What defines me
is that I have to be part of a collective and before I join an organization I have to be certain that it
has the same vision as I do. The key thing for me is discipline and having confidence in each other.
Also the fact that your ideas are just your ideas until they face the test of others!
NW – Given the length of your service in the trade union movement, how would you like to be
LS – As someone who is committed to the cause of the working class, someone who is disciplined
and at home working in a collective?
NW – Nehawu has just celebrated its 18th anniversary, what in your view was the most defining
moment in the history of this union?
LS – The tenacity of Nehawu was put to the test soon after its inception. At the time Nehawu
operated under conditions of illegality, given the apartheid laws of the time, which did not allow
unions in the public service. How did the union survive this period of racism and discrimination remains
a mystery even today. The second acid test was the 1992 strike where the union had 15000 members
before the strike and over 8000 of these members were dismissed. The resilience of Nehawu speaks
for itself, as after the strike we went to the 4th national congress with close to 90 000 members. These
were the defining moments for me!
8 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
A NATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
CELEBRATION WITH A DIFFERENCE!
n South Africa the month of August
I each year is set aside as the one in
which issues affecting women are
placed high on the national agenda. This
is in commemoration of the march by
women back in 1955 to the Union
Buildings to protest against the extension
of pass laws to women.
To mark this month, government, state
organs, civil society organisations and
businesses all organise activities of some
sorts to highlight issues affecting women.
The highlight of these activities is the
hosting of National Women’s Day NEHAWU President Noluthando Sibiya and other dignitaries who
celebrations on the 9th of August. attended the National Men’s Indaba
Nehawu decided to celebrate this year’s women’s day differently. The union organised a
National Mens’ Indaba on the 9th of September 2005. To the uninitiated, a men’s indaba is a
strange concept that should be looked at suspiciously.
Why a men’s indaba? I hear you ask! Put simply! Men are behind the bulk of problems affecting
women today. Those who abuse women, those who rape women and those who murder their
families because they have social problems are all men! The list is endless. Nehawu decided that
its best if men and women are brought into dialogue, in a forum created for men; so that
together, men and women can come up with solutions to these problems in an environment that
does not apportion blame, but seek to understand the underlying issues that lead men to commit
Admittedly, the notion of a men’s indaba carries with it an ideological baggage. It is
understandable, therefore, if some view it with a measure of scepticism. However, those charged
with organising the event were pragmatic. Joe Mpisi - Deputy Chairperson of Nehawu Gauteng
Province and programme director for the day explained that: “…as a union that is not afraid to
lead, Nehawu deemed it fit to bring together men and women in a forum that provides a
platform for dialogue to discuss an array of issues affecting women. We believe this forum will
create a basis for finding solutions…”
Nobantu Mayekiso, Nehawu’s Gender Officer was more direct in her observation: “…we are a
union whose membership is predominantly women. Nehawu would be derelict in the
performance of its duty, if it does not put issues of sexual harassment, women and child abuse,
domestic violence, male chauvinism, HIV/AIDS and many other social ills that victimize women,
high up on the agenda. This indaba is a step in that direction!”
Some of the dignitaries invited to address the Indaba were Mbuyisleo Botha- Secretary General
of the South African Mens’ Forum, motivational speaker- Pastor Khathide, Mummy Jaftha - Cosatu
Gender Coordinator, Abbey Witbooi - POPCRU General Secretary and that darling of the
workers, the Deputy President of the ANC- cde Jacob Zuma.
In his address cde Zuma asked why issues of child and women abuse, domestic violence and
HIV/AIDS cannot be looked at as issues of class, as the majority of women who become victims
of these acts are working class women. This observation was a profound one and the indaba
agreed that the class character of these issues need a closer examination so that the responses
we will develop are informed by this analysis.
In her keynote address Nehawu President - Noluthando Mayende –Sibiya paid tribute to African
women who provided distinguished leadership over generations. These women included
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 9
stalwarts of our struggle for liberation such as Dorothy Nyembe, Victoria Mxenge, Winnie Mandela
and many others. Noluthando pointed out that what these women were able to achieve dispel
the myth held in some quarters that women cannot lead.
Mbuyiselo Botha of the South African Men’s Forum urged the Indaba to fight
for equality between men and women with the same determination and
zeal that we showed in the fight against apartheid.
The highlight of the indaba was the adoption of the declaration that
commits all those who care to a minimum programme to rid our society of
ills such as women and child abuse, domestic violence, poverty and many
others. Following the adoption of the programme, men proceeded to sign the
pledge that commits them to supporting efforts that seek to end abuse of
The theme for the indaba was “… REAL MEN DON’T ABUSE WOMEN!! “
event DECLARATION OF NEHAWU NATIONAL
MENS’ INDABA, HELD IN JOHANNESBURG
ON THE 9TH AUGUST 2005.
athered in Johannesburg on the occasion of celebrating National women’s Day, we
G men and women, delegates to the National Men’s Indaba, on our own free will and
having deliberated on a range of issues and challenges facing our society such as abuse of
women and children, domestic violence, poverty and the devastating impact of the
HIV/AIDS pandemic on our communities.
We take note of the words of the President of Nehawu, cde Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya,
when she says that in celebrating the occasion of the National Women’s Day, we must
celebrate the achievements made by women over generations, who when called to
provide leadership, did so in a distinguished manner. In this regard we take note of the
outstanding role played by African Women in particular, from Ethiopia’s Queen of Sheba to
Limpopo’s Modjadji dynasty. From Zululand’s Princess Mkabayi to Basutoland’s Chieftainess
‘Manthatisi. To the women stalwarts of our liberation struggle, such as Dorothy Nyembe,
Victoria Mxenge, Ray Alexandra, Winnie Madikizela -Mandela and many others.
We also note the comments of the General Secretary of the National Men’s’ Forum cde
Mbuyiselo Botha, when he says that we must fight for the equality of men and women with
the same determination and energy that we showed during the struggle for liberation. We
are also encouraged that in our country we have an organization such as the National
Men’s Forum, which has dedicated itself to changing the patriachial tendencies and
mindset still prevalent in our society. We feel proud that Cosatu’ s National Gender
Coordinator has, on behalf of the Federation, observed that the hosting of this Indaba is
historical, as it is a forum where men and women discuss in a frank and open manner, the
challenges facing our society.
We note with satisfaction, the encouraging words of the General Secretary of POPCRU, cde
Abbey Witbooi, when he reiterated the commitment of POPCRU members and leaders,
both in their personal capacities and as law enforcement officers, to spare no effort in
ensuring that the perpetrators of violence and abuse against women are brought to justice.
We feel enlightened by the observation of the Deputy President of the ANC, cde Jacob
Zuma, when he says that the class character of the victims of abuse of women, violence
against women and the scourge of HIV/AIDS needs closer examination, as it would seems,
on the surface, that the majority of them are working class. By definition, cde Zuma urges us
to examine why these
10 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
issues can’t be considered as class issues and be treated as such! We also agree with his
observation that the fight against women and child abuse must be linked with the work of
restoring the moral fibre of our nation. To this end we believe that the moral re-generation
movement has a key role to play in our efforts of putting an end to the abuse of women and
We declare as the Indaba, that we have today taken the first few steps to mark the
beginning of a long journey towards realizing a society in our country that is free from abuse
of women and children. A society wherein men and women stand side by side as equals to
build a better world.
A world where there is political will to deal with and, where necessary, deploy resources,
financial and otherwise, to deal decisively with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis,
Malaria and a range of other preventable diseases that continue to decimate generations
because of lack of resources. A world where there is war on want and there is determination
to make poverty history!
A world determined to deal with the mindset that tolerates social ills such as rape, child
molestation, alcoholism, domestic violence and others without lifting a finger. We declare
that we are at war with a mindset that merely pontificate about equality between men and
women, but does nothing to work towards its achievement. A mindset that sees nothing
wrong with male chauvinism or seek to explain it away on the grounds of religion, culture, or
tradition. A mindset that delegates to this Indaba aptly describes as the Caveman mindset.
We declare our intention to initiate a nation wide movement of women and men aimed at
dealing with issues of abuse of women and children, a movement that will deal with the
upliftment of women, especially the rural poor and those made vulnerable because of
disease or infirmity or their socio –economic status. A movement that will raise awareness
amongst men and women that other than their gender, women and men have a lot in
common and that they are better off working for each other’s betterment as opposed to
against each other.
We declare our support for a range of initiatives aimed at preventing the further spread of
HIV/AIDS through new infections and also provide those infected and affected with support
programmes such as counseling and ensuring that those infected have access to medical
care, treatment and good nutrition. We will also do everything in our power to ensure that
the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS is dealt with to enable people living with the disease to
disclose in a safe and supportive environment without fear of any harm being visited upon
We declare our intention to be part of progressive initiatives to end poverty. These initiatives
must, in our view, deal with job creation in communities where people live, ensure access to
basic services such as water, housing, electricity and
water for the marginalized in our communities and We declare as the
also ensure access to land for the rural poor so that
communities can enjoy food security and cease Indaba, that we have
reliance on handouts. These initiatives will help restore
the pride and dignity taken away by years of reliance today taken the first
on handouts and help root out social ills such as
alcoholism, women and child rape and other violent
few steps to mark the
crimes common in marginalized communities. beginning of a long
We declare our intention to work together with other journey towards
social groups such as churches, religious
organizations, community organizations, traditional realizing a society in
leaders and non-governmental organizations that
have an interest in achieving these objectives. our country that is free
This is our declaration and commitment and we shall from abuse of women
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 11
SURVIVING THE HIV/AIDS EPIDEMIC IN
SOUTHERN AFRICA TODAY!
n a series of articles aimed at making our readers understand the HIV/AIDS pandemic better,
I enable those living with the disease to live positively, and inform our readers of the treatment
options available, we are pleased that Dr. David Spencer has kindly agreed to write for us. This is
the first article in a four part series.
PART ONE: THE ORIGIN OF THE HIV EPIDEMIC
Patients, whether they are Health Care Workers or the general public often express anxiety when
coming to see me. Colleagues ask to see me after hours or over weekends. On occasion, patients
disappear into spare rooms or run out of the practice if they see someone they know in my
waiting room. As a result of fear and stigma, the diagnosis of infection with the HIV-virus, throws
us off balance, usually temporarily but in some instances permanently. Responsible men and
women behave irrationally, ignore the signs, deny the reports, and lie through their back teeth.
Fear and stigma are terms that have come to symbolize this infection, thus robbing HIV infected
people of timely interventions that may improve their quality of life and prolong their lives.
Unfortunately, statements from sections of political leaders and other public figures add to the
confusion. Statements such as: “I’ve never seen anyone die of HIV.” “Where’s this so-called virus?
I’ve never seen it!” “Poor nutrition’s causing all these deaths.” “Take a mixture of raw garlic,
carrots, herbs and vitamins and you’ll get better soon.”
A few weeks ago, I had a young woman in her mid-twenties come to see me for the first time.
She has been going out with a policeman from another province. They have been together for
14 months. She loves him. But on several occasions he’s mentioned that this is his first “long-term”
relationship. “They never last this long.” “He loves me. But he says he has a girlfriend in another
town. She’s pregnant with his child. I think he’s just saying that so I’ll take the hint and leave him.
I don’t know whether to trust him. He had TB back in 2003 but says he tested HIV negative. He says
I didn’t get the HIV from him.” After a winter of bad influenza and recurrent tonsillitis, she asked
the GP to do an HIV test. That was a week before she came to see me. She tested positive. “We
used to use condoms at the beginning but not now. I really love him. But I think I’ve been abused.
I’ve only told him. Not even my parents know.”
This story has a familiar ring to it and it will continue to be so, unless those in authority decide to
take drastic action! Admittedly, millions have been spent on awareness campaigns aimed at
reducing the rate of infections, and a roll out of Anti-retroviral treatment has begun is selected
public hospitals. However, it is in the area of giving confidence to HIV positive people that
treatment is available where we are found wanting.
Background to the Epidemic:
The earliest infections with the HIV-virus occurred in the 1930s. These infections were among
people living in the forests of Gabon and the Congo basin. The remoteness and the political
turmoil of Africa at the time meant that these infections were easily missed. Hunters who killed
forest animals for food (‘bush meat’) or to sell their live babies (chimpanzees) to zoos, circuses
and collectors were the first people to be infected.
The virus entered humans from their animal hosts. The blood of the dead or dying monkey entered
the hunter through cuts and abrasions on his skin. Those who eat or came in contact with the raw
meat of the animal were also exposed to the virus. Chimpanzees and other monkey species are
infected with a virus called the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, SIV. Genetic analysis of the HIV
and SIV viruses indicate that these two species are very closely related. Our human virus, HIV, is
derived from SIV-genetic stock.
12 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
Patients often express surprise that animal diseases can cross species barriers and
harm them. But many infections spread to people in this way: Rabies is spread with
the bite of an infected dog or wild animal. Tuberculosis found its way into the
human race thousands of years ago when mankind first started domesticating his
animals: we still pasteurize milk so as to avoid the possibility of contracting TB from
The earliest proven human HIV infections date back to the mid and late 1950s. A
number of European expatriates living and working in what was then the Belgian
Congo became ill and returned to France, Belgium, the UK and the Scandinavian countries
where they died in the 1950s. Stored biopsy material examined in the 1990s has revealed the
presence of HIV in samples from these people. The course of the virus in the human body takes
10 to 15 years to kill its host: this also suggests that the virus had been in the community of central
Africa a decade and longer before the deaths of these expatriates.
Slowly the virus spread through the people of the Congo basin and central Africa, to ultimately
find its way worldwide through international travel. It surfaced among the homosexual (gay)
communities of Europe and North America in the late 1970s and
early 1980s. Fear and stigma are
At the same time, the virus was making its slow way down terms that have
through Africa towards the east and the south of the continent. come to symbolize
It followed the routes that truckers used to transport their goods - this infection, thus
infecting the sex workers along the way and ensuring that the
disease would be spread into the communities that surrounded
robbing HIV infected
the highways and railway towns and cities of central and people of timely
southern Africa. The Nationalist government in South Africa and interventions that
the closed borders kept contact between locals and the rest of
the continent to a minimum. But the disease was already in the
may improve their
mines of this country and within the gay communities of our quality of life and
cities. The opening of the nation’s borders in 1994 and the influx prolong their lives.
of people from the rest of Africa fueled the spread further.
The epidemic in Africa is unlike that in the West: on this continent heterosexual adults and their
children are mainly affected. ‘Unsafe’ sex rather than the use of illicit drugs is the usual route of
transmission in Africa. Infected women outnumber infected men: culture and vulnerability to the
sexual advances of older men of our adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 19, have
permitted this to happen. In Africa the epidemic centers itself on pregnant women and their
offspring: approximately 75% of the world’s infected children are to be found on this continent.
The infected of our continent are its poor and its rich, the virus has found a way to breach the
class divide: I see domestic workers and cleaners as well as lawyers, doctors, teachers and the
wealthy of our country. The virus speaks a universal language.
Do viruses speak to us? Does an epidemic have anything to say that lies outside of the realm of
pure biology: It’s a question that we as scientists don’t ask. The HIV epidemic is much more than
a health issue. This epidemic speaks about politics and poverty and poor education and
vulnerability. It uncovers the weaknesses in our healthcare structures and says things about the
enduring inequality between men and women, the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, the fragile status
of children in the economy of the nation and the pervasive attitude of futility and disengagement
that many colleagues and some powerful politicians demonstrate. The AIDS epidemic will not go
away until we have heard and responded appropriately to what it has to say.
Part 2 of the article examines the role of Anti-Retroviral Treatment in the fight against the
pandemic including the challenges of taking anti-retroviral treatment.
Dr David Spencer is a Consulting Physician and runs a private practice based at the Linksfield
Park Clinic in Johannesburg. He writes in his personal capacity. This paper is the copyright of
the author and permission for reproduction is limited to NEHAWU Worker Magazine and
NEHAWU. Use beyond these persons or organizations will require special permission from the
author, Dr Spencer. Reference material will be made available only on request.
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 13
14 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
feature SIZWE MEDICAL FUND A D V E R T O R I A L
n many companies, members have a choice of at least two or three
I medical aid schemes, make sure that you are choosing the right
scheme for you and your family. These schemes are often called in to
make presentations to interested staff.
“To ensure that you make a fully informed decision, you should attend
the presentations offered to you. Hear what each scheme has to offer,
make a comparison and discuss any questions you may have with the consultant or broker.
Should you not receive presentations at your company, speak to your Human Resources
department to arrange this on behalf of the staff”. This is the advice from Linda Gabela, Principal
Officer of Sizwe Medical Fund, one of the top seven medical aid funds in the country.
Gabela goes on to say: “If you are an individual wanting to join or change schemes, speak to
your broker or call the medical scheme directly and ask them to send you a copy of their benefit
guide or speak to the customer services consultant.”
What are the most appropriate questions a member should ask themselves regarding their
scheme or when wanting to change schemes?
What are my needs, and the needs of my family?
Each scheme is structured differently and depending on the needs of each individual, they
should choose a scheme that best meets those needs. The next question is how do I choose an
option within that scheme? If for example the member is on chronic medication, they should find
a scheme and option that offers good chronic benefits and has a chronic programme such as
Sizwe Medical Fund’s Champs chronic medication programme, which will assist them to find the
best ways to treat their condition and monitor their progress.
Is the scheme and option I am on affordable?
Once you have ensured you are adequately covered, this
should be carefully balanced against affordability. What
Make an informed
does your budget allow and are all your needs covered? If decision when
you over buy, you pay for benefits you don’t use, or if you
under buy, your benefits will not last you the full year and choosing a Medical
you will have to pay out of your pocket once your benefits
It is best to shop around and compare prices from different
schemes. Also check your option from year to year as some schemes keep contribution increases
down by cutting benefits. Most schemes allow you to change options at the end of each year
for the year ahead. Make sure you know and compare the increases that each medical scheme
is imposing for 2006, for example Sizwe Medical Fund has a round 0% increase for 2006, which is
groundbreaking in the medical aid industry. Not only has it cut back on any contribution
increases, but Sizwe has improved its benefits by an average of 6%.
Choosing from a range of different option types
Most people want freedom of choice, so it is important that your medical scheme offers you a
good variety. Sizwe for example is one of the few schemes left in the market that still offers
traditional options, which work on a fee-for-service model i.e. a provider bills the medical scheme
for the service they have provided. The member is given generous limits in each benefit category
and can use each of these benefits up to the limit specified in the benefit guide. Within the
traditional options there is a range of options available from the lowest to the top of the range,
and contributions are calculated accordingly.
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 15
In addition, Sizwe also offers a Savings
option and managed care options. The
Savings option (Sizwe Elite) is for those
people who prefer to manage their own
monies. A portion of the contributions is paid
into the savings pool, and most day- to-day
expenses are paid out of the Savings
account. Bigger expenses, such as
hospitalisation, are paid by the Fund.
Managed care options on the other hand
indicate that the scheme has contracted
with a certain group of providers and the risk
is shared between the two parties. Sizwe has
chosen to contract with numerous doctor
networks around the country. A member
then chooses a doctor in their area from the
list of doctors within that network. The doctor
then manages the member’s health for the
year, and can be visited as often as is
needed, ensuring the member receives the best treatment and does not run out of benefits for
the year. Members must, however, make sure that there is a doctor network within their area
before choosing one of these options.
Is the scheme delivering good service?
One of the biggest contributing factors to members changing schemes is due to poor service.
Make sure that your scheme is addressing your service needs appropriately.
Through its administrator, Sizwe for example offers its bigger clients service consultants who
regularly visit the company and address queries on site. Most member queries can then be solved
quickly real time.
Good service is largely indicated by how quickly a scheme pays claims to either the member or
their provider. Sizwe has an online claim facility for pharmacies, which means that while the
member is at the till, the pharmacy dials into Sizwe to approve the claim. The turn around time for
online claims is 2.9 seconds.
Financial stability, size and history
One of the most crucial factors when choosing a medical aid scheme is to ensure that it is
Each scheme is rated according to its ability to pay claims by independent body, Global Credit
Rating, and is a strong indicator regarding the fund’s financial stability. Sizwe has an A+ rating,
which is one of the higher ratings in the market place.
In addition, the Council for Medical Scheme specified the reserve level that each scheme should
reach by the end of each year. The reserve level was set at 25% for the end of 2004. Sizwe
Medical Fund reached 34% by the end of the year and by the end of September 2005 had
reached an unaudited reserve level of 41%.
By choosing one of the bigger schemes, members are assured that the scheme has the expertise
and resources for bargaining power when negotiating with providers on behalf of members. The
risk pool in a larger scheme is also bigger, which means that it will not run into financial trouble
when there are a lot of high claims. Sizwe Medical Fund is currently one of the larger open
schemes, covering 180 000 lives.
In the volatile medical aid industry, a strong and solid history is also a good indicator of a good
fund. Sizwe Medical Fund for example was established 27 years ago and has proved itself as a
reliable and trustworthy fund.
16 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
feedback REPORTING BACK FROM THE THIRD
CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEETING OF COSATU!
NEHAWU delegates who attended the COSATU Central Committee meeting
OSATU held its 3rd Central Committee meeting on the 15-18 August 2005. The Central
C Committee, the 2nd highest structure after congress, meets once in between congresses and
is usually convened to assess progress made in implementing the resolutions of the congress and
consider reports and any other matter it deems necessary.
True to its tradition, COSATU has not shied away from raising difficult issues that are closer to the
hearts of workers, to the agitation of those critics who would like the federation to restrict itself to
bread and butter issues. Over the recent past, the federation has correctly raised a range of
issues from the macro-economic policy, inflation targeting, the strong rand, job losses and
exorbitant executive pay packages. On the political front, the federation has differed sharply
with government over the handling of the Zimbabwe crisis, the handling of the HIV/AIDS
pandemic and the issue of lack of free political activity in neighbouring Swaziland. Recently, the
federation raised its voice together with the SACP, the ANC Youth League and the Young
Communist League against the way the Deputy President of the ANC, Cde Jacob Zuma was
It was not surprising therefore, that one of the key resolutions passed by the Central Committee
was on the Jacob Zuma matter. It was also not surprising that there was a lot of media hype
surrounding what the CC said with regard to the Jacob Zuma matter. A range of other matters
that the CC dealt with were simply ignored or mentioned in passing! The one useful thing about
the type of coverage that the media gave to this matter was that it helped to expose, for all to
see, the class divisions still prevalent in our society and we now know where the South African
media stand in this divide.
Aside from the Jacob Zuma matter, the Central Committee discussed a range of organisational
and socio economic matters. Prominent amongst the organisational issues discussed by the CC
was organisational discipline, internal democracy and worker control. The discussion occurred in
the context of concerns that worker control as one of the founding principle of the federation
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 17
was being eroded and it faces the risk of disappearing. There was also a concern that in the
context of the evolving nature of the environment in which unions operate, internal democracy
was being undermined thus giving rise to factionalism and other tendencies hitherto unknown to
the democratic trade union movement.
The Central Committee decided among others to ensure that there are induction workshops for
new and old members and that new members are engaged on the way trade unions work, the
key ideology and principles and that we have education for workers and those who will be
workers on how unions work. It was also resolved that all affiliate constitutions should have
provisions to deal with ill discipline, misconduct and lack of accountability problems within the
affiliates, to empower workers and shop stewards to undertake the range of activities they are
required to perform. This includes clarifying roles to minimise tensions.
The CC further agreed that the federation must perform an audit of affiliates based on agreed
criteria including standards unions should adhere to in relation to implementation of the decisions
taken, the unions’ policies and constitutions, and member’s cases won or lost. An important
aspect of this resolution was the agreement to develop trade union management amongst
affiliates to ensure implementation of resolutions taken by constitutional structures. Linked to the
issue of developing management, the Central Committee agreed to define the attributes
leadership should have including setting out the tasks and skills required, and ensure a structured
education programme to empower leadership at all levels to meet these requirements.
Union finances were also not spared the scrutiny. The Central Committee resolved that the
federation and affiliates must increase oversight over their finances and establish, amongst
others, how many employers are paying over subscriptions of union members and ensure that
each COSATU affiliate have a membership fees collections department. This will maximise the
revenue collection of unions and avoid cash crunches that have characterized some affiliates in
the recent past.
The Central Committee also decided that more funds be ploughed into the lower structures of
the federation and affiliates in order to maximise the ability of these structures to implement
programmes and resolutions. The CC also resolved that there must be clarity on the policy on
ceilings and minimum levels of union subscriptions. It was agreed to conduct research around
whether subscriptions and deductions are being used for the purposes for which they were raised.
On trade union education the CC resolved that shop stewards be encouraged to improve their
skills and be more vigilant with regard to skills development issues. COSATU affiliates must
strengthen their capacity to provide education at a provincial and local level, in collaboration
with Ditsela and other service providers. The CC urged affiliates to deepen gender education in
their ranks as this will lead to women holding more key positions within the Federation. It was also
agreed that an investigation be finalized to ensure the accreditation of trade union education.
The CC observed that some affiliates still struggle to provide adequate service to members. In this
regard, the resolution dealing with service was broad enough to take into account the range of
issues impacting on service to members. The CC resolved to offset the impact of globalisation on
the working class including through a cultural revolution, and that COSATU needs to get involved
in education transformation to achieve that aim. The role of COSATU International Desk was
deemed crucial in this regard, and it was decided that the International Desk must urgently drive
the engagements at all levels to bolster trade and economic strategy and to coordinate the fight
against retrenchments, create more jobs and increase working class solidarity across the borders.
Issues such as the skills of shop stewards, the conditions of service of organizers, Section 189 of the
LRA, concentration of resources in union head offices and neglect of vulnerable workers were
seen as contributing to poor service in unions. On the issue of mergers, the CC resolved that the
Federation must drive unity with other unions and federations to avoid divisions during disputes
and that in addition to the role of COSATU NOBs in this area, experienced and respected persons
should be drawn from within the federation to facilitate the mergers of unions.
The Central Committee also adopted a more strengthened and focused version of the resolution
on membership recruitment drive. The position of the federation on the industrial strategy was
trashed out in commissions that focused on sectors.
18 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
indaba NATIONAL SKILLS INDABA -
CHARTING A WAY FORWARD FOR
OUR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT WORK!
s we reported in our June/July issue, Nehawu convened a
A National Skills Development Indaba on the 13-15 July 2005.
The Indaba was a resounding success as most provinces were
represented and all union representatives in various SETAs
attended. The debates were robust, yet constructive as all
delegates were determined to ensure that at the end, the
meeting must have clear resolutions that will guide the work of
all union activists involved in skills development work.
As representatives considered reports, it was observed that our
skills development work was largely uncoordinated, with
representatives in various SETAS and Skills Development
Committees left on their own, without support and much
needed guidance. Delegates expressed a view that the union
NEHAWU Skills Development Officer
need not establish new structures for coordinating skills Mbuyiselo Mantantana
development work, but that more should be done to
strengthen existing education structures and defining their roles so that they can help to better
coordinate our skills development work.
In order to ensure that our work in the SETAs is synergised, the Indaba agreed to recommend to
the NEC that each SETA should have a coordinator, whose responsibilities will be to coordinate
the union’s activities in the respective SETAs and report to the Skills Development Officer on a
regular basis. The coordinator will also ensure proper communication on the activities of the SETA,
including submitting SETA year-planners. The coordinators will ensure that the skills development
work within the SETAs is enhanced and that proper mandating processes are in place.
In taking forward this recommendation the NEC has approved the following comrades as
coordinators for SETAs where Nehawu is involved:
FASSET: Cde Witness Magoswana
ETDPSETA: Cde Guy Slingsby
HWSETA: Cde Shereen Samuel
PSETA: Cde Thami Konkie
SASSETA: Cde Nontsasa Lebaka
In relation to Provinces, the Indaba observed that our skills development work there is generally
weak and that our participation in various skills development committees is ad hoc. It was also
observed that the capacity of our representatives in these committees needs attention, as most
of them are unable to engage with the complex issues involved in this area of work. The Indaba
agreed to recommend to the NEC that Provincial Education Secretaries be tasked to coordinate
skills development work within the Provinces and that each province must appoint a comrade
who will coordinate skills development work in the province. This comrade shall also ensure
appropriate deployment of comrades and facilitate an audit of the workplace skills committees
to ensure that they are effective.
A programme that will guide skills development work in the run up to the CEC meeting in
December was agreed. A significant part of this programme will be to build the capacity of all
SETA representatives focusing on the strategic objectives of the union in skills development work,
which is to ensure that our members benefit through the SDA in terms of their training needs for
career - pathing and mobility. The capacity building programme will also enable representatives
to access funding from the SETAs by using available funding ventures.
As part of the programme, provinces are tasked to engage provincial governments in terms of
ensuring that skills development is placed under the Office of the Premier in line with the National
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 19
Skills Development Strategy. Provinces were also tasked to build the capacity of all Provincial Skills
Development Coordinators, to audit sector skills plans before submission and provide support to
all workplaces in order to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.
At shop floor level provinces are tasked with ensuring that they audit union participation in
workplace skills committees, and where they do not exist, fight for their establishment and build
the capacity of representatives in these committees. The challenge is to ensure that the work of
Employment Equity Committees is linked to Skills Development Committees and to fight for the
redirection of funds to the lower categories of employees as opposed to training being mainly
given to middle and senior management echelons.
NEHAWU REVIVES A BURSARY SCHEME
fter years of inactivity as a result of funding difficulties, the Nehawu Bursary Scheme is to
A be revived. The NEC in its meeting on the 17th of September 2005, agreed to appoint
the National Bursary Committee with immediate effect. The Committee is chaired by the 1st
Deputy President – Lulamile Sotaka and other members of the committee are Mbuyiselo
Mantantana – National Skills Development Officer, Liz Thobejane – former Nehawu HRD
Officer, Merriam Peterson – Gauteng Provincial Treasurer and Andre Felaar – Western Cape
The committee’s brief is to re-establish the bursary scheme using systems and policies
already developed by the previous Bursary Trust. The immediate task of the committee is to
develop guidelines to help in considering applications and consider the number of bursaries
to be allocated in the first year as well as agreeing to the amount that may be spent in the
initial stages of the fund. The Bursary Scheme will apply to Nehawu members, officials and
their children who wish to study in any tertiary education institution in the country.
Once the guidelines have been developed, members will be informed and applications for
bursaries will be invited. It is hoped that members will start benefiting from the bursary
scheme as early as in the new year, if everything goes according to plan.
WOMEN LEADERSHIP SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
PROJECT IS PROGRESSING WELL!
ur June /July issue reported that Nehawu plans a Women’s Leadership Skills Development
O Programme aimed at developing women leaders within the union. Reports from provinces
that have gone through the 1st Block of the programme shows that there is a lot of excitement
and most of the comrades who are participants look forward to the challenge of going back to
school and learning new skills.
The 1st Block of the programme is facilitated by the union and covers basic trade union
education, with emphasis on union constitution, policies, and the history of trade unionism in
South Africa. This Block is progressing very well, with almost all provinces having gone through with
their week-long training. The provinces that have gone through the training are Eastern Cape,
Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, North West, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Western
Cape. As Nehawu Worker prepared for print, Free State was to have theirs on the 31st October
to the 4th November 2005.
The three year long programme will involve about 315 women nationally and is run in conjunction
with the University of the Western Cape, which will confer Certificate in Economic Development
Diploma to successful participants at the end of the programme. The project is an historical
intervention of its kind and is probably the largest education programme to be undertaken by a
trade union in South Africa.
20 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
relations REVAMPING OUR INTERNATIONAL
ehawu’s International Relations work faces a major overhaul in the new year. This
N will happen if the recommendations of the International Relations Workshop
held on the 23-24th August 2005 are taken forward. The workshop was arranged in
line with the priorities set up by the NEC of March 2005 and the 7th Congress’
mandate on international relations work.
The workshop agreed a programme that outlines work to be done by provinces and the national
office. Provinces will focus on reviving or establishing relations with regional structures of sister
unions, where there are already existing ties at national level. The revival will involve identifying
projects in line with priorities adopted by the NEC and drafting of provincial profiles that will assist
in this process. Once relations have been established, protocol agreements that outline areas of
cooperation and joint projects will be signed, where necessary!
The key task facing provinces will be to revive International Sub-structures and appoint provincial
coordinators where there are none. It will also involve meetings and workshops across provinces
to identify twinning projects between branches and facilitating worker to worker contact. This will
make our international relations work more meaningful.
An important part of the programme is the call for our provinces to participate in the activities of
the Friends of Cuba Societies in their provinces so that the solidarity work we are doing with Cuba
is expanded. Provinces are also encouraged to write articles for publication in magazines and
other publications issued by the Public Services International and the Trade Union International for
Public and Allied Employees.
Nomthandazo Sikiti - NEHAWU International Relations Officer
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 21
The articles must cover activities that take
Projects agreed to with place in their respective provinces, but have a
global application e.g. a restructuring in a
sister union will be revived hospital or university and how it affects the
community and workers there. The articles will
and taken forward include be coordinated through Nehawu
the project with the Service Communication Department.
Employees International National work will involve revising the protocol
and procedures manual, which will be tabled
Union of tracking for consideration by the coming CEC meeting
in November. The profile of the union will also
multinational companies be updated to take into account the
that relocate to third world changes that have occurred over the past
few years. A database of our sister unions with
countries where they contact details will be completed and
provided to provinces to facilitate their
undermine trade union twinning initiatives.
rights and pay slave wages. A number of projects agreed to with sister
union will be revived and taken forward. These
include the project with the Service Employees International Union of tracking multinational
companies that relocate to third world countries where they undermine trade union rights and
pay slave wages. A further project with the Canadian Union of Public Employees would be
investigated, where CUPE would assist Nehawu with building its Information Technology capacity
so that it can face the challenges of being a modern union.
Further work will involve convening an International Relations Committee meeting early next year
to consolidate provincial work and take up the offer by STAL for taking some comrades for studies
in Portugal and investigate another institution that can offer French classes for IRC members.
Research will be done around emigration and what role should professional bodies like the
International Federation for Social Workers and International Council for Nurses play in monitoring
and regulating this.
Further projects such as the Public Sector Reform, which will be done in conjunction with the PCS
has been agreed to. The project aims to exchange experiences with the PCS on how to use
organizing and learning to reach out to new members. As
part of expanding work in the African continent an
analysis of the trade union movement in
Africa in order to determine strengths
and weaknesses will be done so that
appropriate assistance could be
sourced in order to build a strong
trade union movement in
With this programme it is
hoped that the union’s
international relations work
will be strengthened and
that the structures at all
levels will be able to respond
to ensure that the union’s
programmes in line with NEC,
CEC and Congress mandates
are implemented. All comrades
in the IRC have committed
themselves to ensuring that
International relations are vibrant at all
levels of the union.
22 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
legal NEHAWU LEGAL DEPARTMENT
IS READY TO BITE!
ehawu’s Legal Department is ready to bite in its quest to protect the rights of union members.
N This was demonstrated by the elaborate work done by the department over the past few
months in re-organising itself and setting up systems and procedures that would guide their work.
An important aspect of this re-organisation involves establishing a modern filing system that will
make it easy to follow up on member’s cases using reference numbers allocated to each case
referred. As cde Sello Morajane- Nehawu’s Legal Coordinator points out … “ all future
communication with members and other external parties on existing cases will now be dealt with
in terms of the allocated reference numbers, it is therefore encouraged that reference be made
to the reference numbers of the specific files, whenever correspondence is entered into with the
A programme is currently underway to establish Para-Legal Teams across provinces in line with
the resolution of a two day workshop held in September 2005, which was attended by all the 9
provinces, to develop a para-legal strategy for the union.
As part of the implementation plan of the resolutions of the workshop, full access to the legal
research material by union organizers and shop stewards will be provided through intranet and
this will be preceded by a comprehensive legal induction programme of the teams, coupled with
continuous skill development programme.
The department plans to use this publication to discuss case management, statistics, and
progress on all the cases referred to it in the future. The space will also be used to update
members on cases and educate on the latest judgments through discussions. The cases referred
to here are the cases where our officials handle reported cases and the cases coming from the
labour law journals. A case in point here will be the success of Nehawu in the case of Nehawu vs
University of Cape Town about section 187 Of the LRA.
NEHAWU Legal Coordinator Sello Morajane
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 23
contacts KNOW YOUR UNION OFFICERS!
A lot of Nehawu members want to know who to talk to at the union’s head
office each time they have problems or issues to raise. Below here is a full list
of the union’s national officers and their reas of rsponsibility.
Secretariat Coordinator Sithembiso Shezi
PA Secretariat Bongi Hlongwane
PA Presidency Tseleng Matsepe
ADMIN AND HR DEPARTMENT
Human Resources Officer Linda Mdwaba
Logistics Coordinator Thuli Rodolo
Switchboard Operator Lerato Molaetsi
Switchboard Operator Sinna Pekeur
Legal Coordinator Sello Morajane
Legal Officer Elizabeth Lerumo
Legal Clerk Khopiso Selemela
Communication Officer Tebello Mokoena
National Spokesperson Moloantoa Molaba
Information Technology Officer Capital Software
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS UNIT
International Relations Officer Nomthandazo Sikiti
Gender Officer Nobantu Mayekiso
Research Officer Tebogo Phadu
Parliamentary Officer Vacant
SOCIAL BENEFITS UNIT
Social Benefits and Marketing Officer Gabi Makhura
FINANCE SERVICE CENTRE
Financial Manager Elias Kaphelani
Management Accountant Dumisane Luthangwana
Payroll Administrator Lebogang Sello
National Cashbook Controller Panki Makua
Credit Controller Nola Dlepu
Finance Clerk Vuyiswa Mapipa
Finance Clerk Sizakele Sibeko
Bookkeeper Zaida Hardien
Membership Coordinator Thabile Mashinini
Banking and Filling Clerk Lucky Luvengu
ORGANISING SERVICE CENTRE
National Organising Secretary Ray Jaftha
Public Health National Organiser – Johan Van Den Berg
Private Health Sector National Organiser – Vusi Mabizela
State Administration Sector National Organiser – Vacant
State Administration Sector National Organiser – Allister Charles
Tertiary Education Sector National Organiser – Guy Slingsby
Social Welfare Sector National Organiser – Shereen Samuels
EDUCATION SERVICE CENTRE
National Education Secretary Vacant
National Materials Developer Susan Westcott
National Skills Development Officer Bizzah Mantantana
24 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
interactive NEHAWU WEBSITE IS RE-LAUNCHED!
The month of September signals
the beginning of spring. This is the
season in which nature re-awakens from the debilitating weather of winter, characterized by
chilly temperatures and snow is some parts of the country. As spring sets in, the weather becomes
warmer and rain begins to fall. Trees and plants blossoms and the environment become greener.
The gloom and grey of winter disappears and is replaced by a sea of green.
It is in the context of this re-awakening, the context of re-birth that Nehawu re-launched a
refreshed and revamped website to signal a new beginning. The re-launch follows months of
painstaking work of conceptualizing, planning, design and redesign. Admittedly, the launch took
place later than was planned, causing much agitation to some members and others who would
like to obtain the most up to date information about the union. Hopefully, these members will be
as happy with the end product as most of us are!
The launched website represents the 1st of a two phased project. In the 1st phase the website is
redesigned with easy to navigate pages. The content is loaded and updated where necessary,
so that only the most up to date and relevant information appears on the website. It also provides
a facility for prospective
members to join on the
website and for running an
opinion poll on any matter
that may be of interest to
members and other users of
the website. The site also
provides a calendar of
events and captures
breaking news and current
events that are of relevance
to union members.
In phase two, the website
will have more interactive
facilities such as an SMS
facility that will be linked to
a membership database, so
that if the union needs to
test the opinion of members
or gauge the support of
union members on any matter, the SMS facility will
enable members to send an SMS message, which the system will load and tally the votes
automatically and give a percentage of those in support of or against. In Phase two, members
will be able to update their details electronically and this will happen automatically as the
website will be linked to the membership database.
Asked to comment on how different the new website is from the old one, Tebello Mokoena,
Nehawu Communication Officer and Editor of the website said “… the key feature of the new
website is that it enables the union to have full control over the content as the updating and
editing is done internally, as opposed to in the past where we relied on outsiders to do it…”
The domain name of the Nehawu website remains unchanged and the address is still
http://www.nehawu.org.za . Readers are encouraged to log on and give their comments.
Responses will be given, where it is appropriate and practical to do so.
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 25
on NORTH WEST PROVINCE!
In a series of articles focusing on work done by
the union in provinces, Pat Motubatsi - Nehawu
North West Provincial Secretary reports on work
done by the union there!
The North West province held its 8th provincial
congress on the 26th – 27th February 2005 at the
Mmabatho College of Nursing, just outside
Mafikeng. Like the 7th national congress, it was a
resounding success. The congress was held under
the theme“Build the union-Build working class
power” as adopted by the CEC in its meeting in
In taking forward the 7th National Congress
resolution on building capacity to service
members, the 1st PEC of the 8th Provincial
Congress was preceded by a two day workshop
on the 9th and 10th June 2005, whose purpose
was to develop a common understanding
amongst PEC delegates on the roles and
responsibilities of this structure and to deepen
understanding of the constitution. The province
deems this process of orientation as necessary in
bringing about clarity within the leadership
Northwest Provincial Secretary Pat Motubatsi collective on the direction the union is taking.
• NORTH WEST
Once there was clarity amongst leadership, the process did not stop there; staff members of the
union in the province were also taken on board. Having satisfied ourselves that all role players are
singing the same tune, the challenge was to develop and agree on systems that will make the
province deliver quality service to members. A critical aspect of this challenge was identified as
effective communication with members, shop stewards and the public at large.
In taking forward the 2004 CEC decision that a national programme be developed to report
back to members on the state of the union and key resolutions adopted at the national congress,
the National Office Bearers, accompanied by Provincial Office Bearers, traveled the length and
breadth of the province to visit branches, give feed back and listen to members. In some
branches members were overwhelmed; some were brought to tears, happy to see their union at
work! A union they know, a union that listens to its members!
The visits gave leaders an opportunity to identify weaknesses and opportunities available to build
on. Immediately after this introspective process, the union responded to most of the issues
identified during the visit, starting with the establishment of branches and substructures where
none existed and setting in motion a process of dealing with grievances and other issues raised
Re-shaping the union within and without
There is no doubt that the image of the union was dented in the eyes of members as a result of
events in our recent past. The first responsibility that faced all of us soon after the 7th National
Congress was to build confidence amongst our members that NEHAWU is here and here to stay.
The May-Day celebrations held in Potchefstroom served as the first salvo fired at our critics and
prophets of doom. About 5000 of our members attended the May Day rally there, making us the
biggest union present. Our engagement with the political leadership in government made it clear
also that NEHAWU is back. Having made our presence felt in all corridors and boardrooms of the
26 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
employers we had to at the same time respond to building structures and capacity among our
shop stewards. A lot of ground has been covered in this area, but more still needs to be done.
Recruitment, structures and campaigns.
The province is made up of five regions with 119 branches. The total membership before the start
of the recruitment drive was 14795. Following the recruitment drive, our membership has grown
to 15599. A provincial membership database system is being developed and it will be informed
by the report on the membership distribution slip. We must concede that the process is slower
than initially expected, as there have been lots of movements following transfers and
redeployment of public servants. However, we are confident that by the end of October 2005,
we will be able to report that we know who our members are! Where are they located! and what
are their contact details!
As part of the revival process, we have re-launched
most of our substructures and co-coordinators have
been identified and are hard at work making sure
that their structures make the necessary impact. For
example, the nurses’ forum has visited all our nurses
during the month of August to revive local branch
structures and report back on what the union is doing
with regard to the issue of uniform allowance, the
working condition of nurses and on the involvement of
the union in the interview processes. Unlike our rival
unions we are a union hard at work attending to issues
that matters to our members, improving their
conditions of work.
Close to 255 new nurses were recruited as members
during the programme. Most of them came from rivals
unions. A follow-up programme through provincial
nurse’s imbizos is in the pipeline. The purpose is to further consolidate on this work and highlight
the plight of our nurses which impact on service delivery. A substructure workshop involving all
coordinators will be held during the month of September 2005.
We plan to launch the 16 Days of activism against women and child abuse campaign on the 8th
October 2005. The idea of the campaign was mooted during the women leadership training
programme on the 5th to 9th September. The launch will be done in conjunction with the SABC
region in North West.
Our health and safety substructure will be involved in the Department of Labour’s Health and
Safety programme during October. The aim is to make sure that employers comply with the
current health and safety legislations. Secondly is to start building capacity on matters of health
and safety amongst our shop-stewards including HIV/AIDS in the workplace as per the 7th
national congress resolution. A capacity building workshop is scheduled to take place from the
24th to 25th October in this regard.
Consolidating substructures is part of the process of building strong organizational structures
important to the work of the union.
Skills and equity work in the province
Following the national skills indaba’s resolution that the battle for real transformation is located
within the skills development arena, we began an audit of our representatives in all skills
committees in the province. The audit confirmed our suspicion that representation of the union in
skills committees is cosmetic and that the employer manipulates reports and plans to the SETA’s.
Now that these weaknesses have been identified the Office of the Premiers is being challenged
on the authenticity of the reports because we hold the view that these reports are administrative
in nature, meaning that employers submit the reports only to comply with legislative requirements
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 27
and not with a view to addressing the skills shortage in the province.
Skills development coordinators have been tasked to focus in this area of work assisted by the
Provincial Education Secretary. This is a battle we must not lose, as future generations of members
and leaders will judge as on how successful we have been in this arena of the struggle.
Taking the fight to the backyard of the employer
Our engagement with two notorious departments in the province revealed that our members
have been subjected to treatment worse than during the Bantustan era, to say but the least! The
notorious Performance Management Development System and generally poor management in
the department of health have without doubt drawn the battle-lines between the said
department and the union.
In April 2005 we presented to the Premier and the MECs for Health and for Agriculture, irrefutable
proof of corruption in respective departments and requested that these cases be investigated
further, with a view to taking appropriate action against officials involved. To date we have not
received any response from the highest office in the province. Instead, these offices are, in our
view, playing political games at the expense of our members. Some of the government offices
are used to protect corrupt individuals. Our branch in Klerksdorp/Tshepong Hospital complex
marched against blatant racism there.
Union members also took to the streets in the Department of Agriculture, the North West Provincial
Legislature and the Department of Health Head Office over similar issues relating to
transformation and intransigency by management who refuse to recognize and talk to the
branch leadership on labour related matters, using the excuse that they want to solve these
matters at the political platform. It is our experience that some comrades in government
undermine the struggles of the workers in the same way the apartheid authorities used to. During
the COSATU protest march against job-losses on the 10th October, a memorandum containing
NEHAWU demands will be presented to the Legislature aimed at these three departments.
Workers present at one of the meetings convened for the NOBs visit to the North West Province
28 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
actuality THE COMMERCIAL MEDIA AND THE
CASE OF JZ: EXPOSING THE CLASS AGENDA
Fikile Majola - NEHAWU General Secretary
(the article first appeared in the Sunday Times newspaper)
ANC Deputy Prseident Cde Jacob Zuma
For a very long time, the commercial media has been on a campaign to reinforce the perception
of “factions” within the liberation movement and to discredit the Deputy President of the ANC,
comrade Jacob Zuma. But behind issues involving factions and personalities there are always
class politics lurking in the background. The right-wing politicians and big business fear that a
mass-backed Zuma election victory could shake the foundations of the neo-liberal, capitalist
system. They worry that the economic regime under which their class has grown fat is in jeopardy.
They are grateful for the pro-market policies which provided business with the opportunity to
amass bigger and bigger profits, much of which were then invested in other countries.
So that is why they are warning that the country will face ruin if Zuma gains power.
But the workers and the poor will not be responding to his clarion call to all the beneficiaries of
the economic transformation to stand up and be counted, because “your country is facing ruin”.
The attack on Zuma has progressed to ridiculous proportions. He is labelled ‘a mass populist
figure’, who “poses a grave risk to this country” and says that the swelling campaign in his support
“ought to frighten those who cherish democracy”.
Yet surely this unprecedented mass campaign of support for the ANC Deputy President is real
democracy in action, something that the right-wingers are terrified of. They are haunted by the
thought of power moving out of the hands of ‘responsible’ representatives of the rich and
powerful into those of a leader who speaks for the workers and the poor and intends to transform
the country in their interests.
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 29
Real democracy does not just mean the right to vote
every five years, but the right of everybody to a
better life. It means the right to have a say in the
important decisions on government policy and
to be governed by people who come from
the same background and share their
experiences of poverty and hardship, and
not those who immediately forget and
abandon the poor once they play golf
with the rich and move into the leafy
That is why there is such overwhelming
support for Jacob Zuma, in a wave of
enthusiasm which has flooded in from
workers in the mines, the factories and
the farms, from the poor and
unemployed in rural villages and
urban squatter camps.
This support has not just been whipped
up by “populist leaders, such as
Zwelinzima Vavi and Blade Nzimande”,
as the right wingers absurdly imagine. It is
the voice of the people, exercising their
democratic right to support the leaders of
Given that it was the ANC National General
Council in June that first resolved to provide
political support to Zuma; the media has been very
mischievous to label those who have done so as “Zuma
supporters”. This implies that those who did not find time to
participate in various activities in support of Zuma such as the
night vigil are supposedly anti-Zuma or belong to another grouping.
This is a deliberate attempt by the media, who are taken aback by Zuma’s continued popularity,
despite the attempt, in conjunction with the NPA, to run a campaign to discredit him over many
The media’s class agenda becomes clear when they turn to the policies which they are terrified
that a Zuma Presidency would implement.
They are horrified that the judicial system and the media might be transformed and made more
responsive to the interests of the majority. They tremble at the thought of “worker-friendly labour
policies” that create jobs for the majority.
Business leaders were not worried with rising unemployment and rampant poverty, but continued
to retrench workers in their hundreds and to use more and more casualised labour, so as to pay
them poverty wages. They even keep pressurising the government to weaken the labour laws, so
that they can exploit their workers even more ruthlessly.
But the possibility of a radical, left-wing, ‘populist’ President Zuma coming to power reduces them
The right-wing attack will only confirm the conviction among the workers and the poor that they
have good reason to back Jacob Zuma. As demonstrated over, support for Zuma is not limited
to the working class. It extends to other segments of the population who can identify with the pain
and suffering of anyone wronged. This includes the entire ANC, the Alliance and the rest of the
movement. They will turn out to support him in even larger numbers at his court appearances.
30 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
international HUGO CHAVEZ AND THE
BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION; ITS IMPORTANCE
TO THE GLOBAL STRUGGLE AGAINST
In this series, John Devenish examines the Bolivarian revolution
and its importance to the global struggle against neo-liberalism
as personified by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. He unpacks the
Bolivarian revolution in detail and asks the question, “… is it
nationalist centre left or socialist!”
HUGO CHAVEZ, A hero to many Venezuelans, Almost unknown
outside Latin America. Hated by the USA and other western
powers! But what exactly is Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution
about? This series will discuss Chavez, The Bolivarian Revolution
and its relevance in the Global struggle against Neo-liberalism!
Venezuela is middle income developing county, rich in natural
resources such as Oil, Aluminum, Iron Ore and plenty of fertile
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez arable land. Yet many of its people live in poverty.
Venezuela's 19th and early 20th century history was one of political instability and dictatorial rule.
Following the death of Juan Vicente Gómez in 1935 and the demise of caudillismo (authoritarian
oligarchical rule), democratic struggles forced the military to withdraw from direct involvement in
national politics in 1958. Since that year, Venezuela has enjoyed an unbroken tradition of
democratic civilian rule, though not without conflict.
From 1958 Venezuela had relatively progressive economic policy. The Oil and Aluminum Industries
were nationalized in the 1970s and a state oil Company PDVSA was formed. However in the 1980s
the government was under increasing pressure to implement Neo-Liberal reforms, which sought
to open these industries to private involvement.
Chávez was born July 28, 1954 to a mestizo (mixed Native American, African decent) family. At
the age of 17, Chávez joined the army as a paratrooper, and he also studied at the Venezuelan
Academy of Military Sciences. He graduated in 1975 in military sciences and engineering. Did
further graduate work in political sciences at the Simón Bolívar University in Caracas, but left
without a degree.
From an early age, Chávez was fascinated by Simón Bolívar, an important independence figure
in Venezuela and Latin America’s history.
In 1983, he founded the Movimiento Bolivariano Revolucionario 200 (MBR-200, "Revolutionary
In 1989,President Carlos Andrés Pérez announced a series of very unpopular IMF-inspired "austerity
measures," This lead to mass protests (Caracazo riots) and the deaths of hundreds of people by
On February 4, 1992, Chávez and the MBR-200 led a failed military coup against President Pérez,
Chavez later read a statement on television in order to tell his co-conspirators to stand down. He
said that they had not achieved their goals por ahora ("for now").After spending two years in
prison, Chávez was pardoned by President Rafael Caldera. He reconstructed the MBR as a
political movement called the Movement for the Fifth Republic (Movimiento Quinta República,or
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 31
Chávez justified the coup by citing the evident discontentment of the majority of the population
with the economic measures adopted by President Pérez. The Pérez regime never recovered
from the aftermath of the riots. Chávez was imprisoned but his coup was used by former President
Rafael Caldera, the head of the Christian Democratic Party, COPEI,to criticize the situation in
Caldera left COPEI, to form a new political party, Convergencia, which, in a coalition of many
small leftist parties, forced Caldera to presidency in December 1993. This was a fatal blow to the
traditional parties, leaderless and demoralized, got few votes .
Chávez, who was pardoned by Caldera in 1994 used a similar platform as Caldera to promote
his candidacy for president of the Republic of Venezuela. He was elected President in December
1998 on a platform that called for the creation of a "Fifth Republic", a new constitution, a new
name ("the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela"), and a new set of social relations between
socioeconomic classes.He campaigned on a populist agenda, calling for an end to corruption
and poverty. Chávez skillfully used his charisma and communication abilities to achieve what he
was not able to do seven years before; becoming the president of Venezuela peacefully.
John Devenish works for the Centre for Civil Society based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal
He writes in his personal capacity
A short History of Simon Bolivar (1783-1830)
Simon Bolivar was one of South America's greatest generals. His victories over the Spaniards won
independence for Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. He is called El
Liberator (The Liberator) and the "George Washington of South America."
Bolivar was born in July 24, 1783, at Caracas, Venezuela. His parents died when he was a child
and he inherited a fortune. As a young man, he traveled in Europe.
As he returned to Venezuela, Bolivar joined the group of patriots that seized Caracas in 1810 and
proclaimed independence from Spain. He went to Great Britain in search of aid, but could get
only a promise of British neutrality. When he returned to Venezuela, and took command of a
patriot army, he recaptured Caracas in 1813 from the Spaniards.
The Spaniards forced Bolivar to retreat from Venezuela to New Granada (now Colombia), also at
war with Spain. He took command of a Colombian force and captured Bogotá in 1814. The
patriots, however, lacked men and supplies, and new defeats led Bolivar to flee to Jamaica. In
Haiti he gathered a force that landed in Venezuela in 1816, and took Angostra (now Ciudad
Bolivar). He also became dictator there.
Bolivar marched into New Granada in 1819. He defeated the Spaniards in Boyar in 1819,
liberating the territory of Colombia. He then returned to Angostura and led the congress that
organized the original republic of Colombia (now Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela).
Bolivar became its first president on December 17,
Bolivar crushed the Spanish army at Carabobo in
Venezuela on June 24, 1821. Next, he marched into TRINIDAD
Educador and added that territory to the new Caracas TOBAGO
Colombian republic. After a meeting in 1822 with
another great liberator, Bolivar became dictator of
Peru. His army won a victory over the Spaniards at
Auacucho in 1824, which needed Spanish power in GUYANA
South America. Upper Peru became a separate state,
named Bolivia in Bolivar's honor, in 1825. The COLUMBIA
constitution, which he drew up for Bolivia, is one of his
most important political pronouncements.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
32 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
CDE BUTI SIMON KGOSANA –
(12 JANUARY 1962-02 SEPTEMBER 2005)
Comrade Buti Simon Kgosana, popularly known
as “Ace” began working as a volunteer in
Nehawu in 1989. He worked in the area now
known as the Waterberg District, and organised
the areas of Mokopane, Mookgophong, Bela-
Bela, Modimolle, Thabazimbi and Lephalale. He
became a full time union organiser in 1990 and
worked very closely with cdes such as Moss
Mankgedi and Ally Malefo in the structures of
the union in the then Northern Transvaal.
Through his dedication and hard work, cde Ace
was deployed to Phalaborwa in 1991 to
spearhead the growth of the union there! He
worked as both an Organiser and Administrator
in the Phalaborwa branch. Through his efforts
Nehawu was introduced in the areas of Giyani,
Bushbuckridge and Tzaneen, where most
comrades still regarded him highly as a skilled
organiser, an activist and a committed trade
He was instrumental in the establishment and
launch of the then Northern Transvaal Region,
which later became Nehawu Northern Province
and now Limpopo province. Through his tireless
efforts and with the support of the leadership of the region at the time, the merger of Vepsu,
Kwapsu and Notrapsu into the family of Nehawu was realised, thus creating one of the biggest
regions of the union at the time.
During his stay in Phalaborwa cde Ace contributed enormously to the building of Nehawu in that
area and the rest of the Limpopo Province. The emergence of quality leaders such as current
Deputy General Secretary, cde Kgaugelo Ramodise, the Provincial Secretary of Limpopo cde
Khomotjo Nkgapele was largely through his determined efforts.
Cde Ace returned to Polokwane, where he worked as an Organiser at the Mike Tauyatswala
region in 1996. Here he was assigned to deal with the most problematic sectors in the union,
private health and social welfare. As always, cde Ace never complained, but tackled the task
with dedication and commitment.
As the most mobile Organiser in the union, cde Ace was, once again, deployed to assist in the
launch of the Alph Makaleng Region in 2000. Yet again, cde Ace was found willing and ready to
serve the cause of the working class. Thanks to his efforts and hard work, the Alph Makaleng
region was successfully launched.
In 2004 October he was promoted to work as Provincial Organising Secretary, a position he
occupied until his untimely death after a long illness. Cde Ace was everything to all the cdes of
Nehawu in Limpopo Province. Above all, he was an organiser, an activist, a leader, a
revolutionary, a patriot and committed trade unionist to the end!
Cde Ace leaves behind a wife and three children.
REST IN PEACE CDE ACE, ORGANISER, ACTIVIST, REVOLUTIONARY AND TRADE UNIONIST!
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 33
COSATU 20th Anniversary Celebration
“20 years of heroic struggle for a better life for all”
1st December 2005 is COSATU’s 20th birthday. Inspired by our history of struggle to overcome the
many challenges we have faced over those 20 years, we face our next 20 years confident and
united, armed with Consolidating Working Class Power for Quality Jobs – Towards 2015, our
programme, to carry us forward to our 30th anniversary in 2015.
The 20th anniversary will be used to reassert our unwavering commitment to our socialist
principles. We will remember our debt to all the heroines and heroes of our struggle who laid
COSATU’s foundations by sustaining and strengthening the federation they built through sweat,
struggle and sacrifice. We have already paid tribute to some of the great figures of the trade
union movement – Elijah Barayi, JB Marks and Moses Kotane – and will continue to honour others.
To celebrate the actual anniversary, taking place in Durban, where it all began in 1985, we shall be:
• Holding a mass rally on Sunday 4 December in ABSA Stadium, King’s Park, Durban, to re-enact
COSATU’s founding rally on 1 December 1985, with past and present leaders of the federation
and leaders of our Alliance partners, including ANC Deputy president Jacob Zuma.
• Staging an exhibition to display our achievements, heritage and traditions,
• Organising workers’ cultural activities, which will showcase workers’ often neglected talent as
artists, musicians, poets and dancers, including:
o A photographic and poster exhibition covering the history of the labour movement
o Cultural, dance, music, poetry, story telling and plays
o Display of arts and crafts
o Video and film screenings, including a 20th anniversary special video mapping our 20 year
• Publishing a souvenir 20th anniversary special edition of the Shopsteward magazine and an
historic illustrated commemorative book, Hlanganani Basebenzi.
• Holding debates and discussion throughout KZN on important issues facing workers, as follows:
5 November, Newcastle Seminar
Topic: COSATU and its shop stewards “Then and Now”. COSATU shop stewards will debate the
different and change roles of shops stewards through a panel discussion between the stewards
of the 1970s and of today.
Venue: Canon Conference Centre, Harding Street
Date: 5th November 2005
Time: 10h00 – 15h00
Speaker: Gwede Mantashe (NUM General Secretary) Petrus Mashishi (SAMWU President),
Joseph Moloeisani (Veteran SAMWU Shop Steward)
34 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
COSATU 20th Anniversary Celebration
“20 years of heroic struggle for a better life for all”
6 November 2005, Port Elizabeth:
A rally to commemorate the life of Vuyisile Mini. He was the first unionist to be executed by the
apartheid regime. This will take place in Great Centenary Hall in New Brighton, at 10:00, preceded
by laying of wreath at his graveside at Emlotheni, New Brighton, at 09:00.
19 November, Richards Bay
Topic: “Labour law, then and now”
Date: 19th November
Time: 10h00- 15h00
Venue: University of Zululand
Speakers: Professor Halton Cheadle (UCT), Roger Ronnie (SAMWU General Secretary),
John Zikhali (SACTWU President)
24 November, Pietermartizburg
Topic: Seminar: Decent Work
Venue: Winston Churchill Community Hall, Msunduzi Municipality
Date: 24th November 2005
Time: 10h00 – 15h00
Speakers: Membathisi Mdladlana (Minister of Labour),
Ebrahim Patel (SACTWU General Secretary), Tanya Goldman (CASE)
26 November, Durban
Topic: Seminar: COSATU and Alliances
Venue: To be confirmed
Date: 26th November 2005
Time: 10h00 – 15h00
Speakers: Bheki Ntshalinshali (COSATU Deputy GS), Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele
(ANC Deputy Secretary General), Jeremy Cronin SACP Deputy GS),
Dot Keet (Senior Researcher at the Centre for Southern African Studies, UWC),
Randall Howard (SATAWU General Secretary)
3 December, Durban
Topic: Seminar: Cosatu and Culture
Venue: BAT Hall
Date: 3 December 2005
Time: 10h00 – 15h00
Speakers: Professor Ari Sitas (poet, writer and sociologist), Nise Malange
(Director of the BAT Centre), Mabutho (Kid) Sithole (PAWE President)
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 35
on the scene
Some of the Delegates
attending the Men’s Indaba Some NEHAWU’s Delegates at the COSATU Central Committee Meeting
NEHAWU Ekurhuleni Regional Treasurer CDE
Delegates at the National Skills Indaba held during August 2005 Busisiwe Khoza at the Men’s Indaba
Workers at Maphutha Malatjie Hospital in Phalaborwa
36 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
on the scene
A worker raising a point during the NOBs visit to the Maphutha Malatjie Hospital in Phalaborwa
Delegates at the SARS Bargaining Forum in August 2005
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 37
38 Nehawu Worker • NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 • Nehawu Worker 39
Telephone: +27 (0)11 833 2902
Facsimile: +27 (0)11 834 3416