About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

National Council of Trade Unions

Nactu is the second largest trade union federation of black workers in the country. It has about 327 000 members in 24 affiliate unions and is strongest in the chemical, construction and transport sectors. Nactu plans to streamline its affiliate unions to 14 through a series of mergers, in line with its campaign of one union in each industrial sector.

It is headed by feisty general secretary Cunningham Ngcukana and his more conservative assistant, Mahlemola Skosana. The federation eschews political alliances (like that between the African National Congress and Cosatu) and preaches a doctrine of trade union independence, although some Nactu leaders are close to the Pan Africanist Congress and to the Azanian People's Organisation.

Nactu is also involved in the National Economic Forum and the National Manpower Commission, but its policies are less well honed than Cosatu's. Nactu launched a women's unit in 1993. The federation is affiliated to the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity.

Tel: (011) 298031

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.