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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.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)

Nactu, which emerged from an amalgamation of Cusa and Azactu in October 1986, has 250 000 mainly black members. This group attempted to maintain greater organisational autonomy while pursuing its relation-ships with other political organisations. Some trade unions align themselves with the PAC, while others support black consciousness organisations like Azapo. The black consciousness group, supported by the majority of Nactu members, aligns itself with the "workerists" in Cosatu. To give expression to the "Africanist" ideology of some of its members, Nactu has adopted a strong stand against imperialism. Statements issued by the group have strong socialist underpinnings. Nactu is less active in the political arena than Cosatu, but supports the sanctions campaign. Numerous joint campaigns have been launched by Nactu and Cosatu, but have not been entirely successful.

Some of the principles according to which Nactu functions include:

Workers' control.

Black working-class leadership.

Non-alignment to political parties and organisations.

Independent trade union action within the federation.

Nactu's president is James Mndaweni. Some of its 25 affiliates are:

Black Allied Mining and Construction Workers' Union general secretary: L Mokhine.

Black Domestic Workers' Union general secretary: T Phiri.

Brushers and Cleaners Workers' Union of SA general secretary: M Ntseke.

Chemical Workers' Union general secretary: D Tau.

Media Workers' Association of SA general secretary: S Khala.

National Union of Farmworkers general secretary: T Moletsane.

National Union of Workers of SA general secretary: H Makedama.

Transport and Allied Workers' Union general secretary: E Rankholo.

During the period 1989 to 1990 five new affiliates joined the organisation, but three trade unions were suspended. According to Nactu membership increased from, 150 000 to 258 000.

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.