Dear Shop Steward 

This year the 6th Annual Shop Steward Conference was attended by over 120 delegates from several African countries namely Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and not forgetting the host South Africa, under the theme achieving collaboration between the employer and the workforce.

The key-note speaker Hon Nkosi Sango Patekile Holomisa, MP Deputy Minister of Labour South Africa said, “The theme of the conference comes handy at a time that the South African economy has to reinvent itself…. If the Department of Labour and its social partners are to establish a concrete platform for labour peace, for higher productivity, for happy employees, for an improved economy there is need to recognize and affirm the role of Shop Stewards in the workplace”.

The conference had 5 speakers rated above 60% “Excellent “as per your evaluation form, thank you for your feedback!

  • Thomas Bin-Saidi Muchima, Secretary General, BANK WORKERS UNION OF NAMIBIA (BAWON)
  • Thanduxolo Qotoyi, Lecturer/Part time CCMA Commissioner, NELSON MANDELA UNIVERSITY
  • Insa Dia aka (Ben Said Dia ), Workers Education Specialist, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIATION
  • Franz Stehring, Head: Divisional Manager Mineral Resources, UNITED ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA (UASA)

Some of the key outcomes after the conference:

  • The amendments to the LRA, broaden the discretion of commissioners to grant minority Trade Unions rights that would normally be granted to Organisational rights
  • Inaccurately applied amendments will undermine the key objects of the LRA, namely promotion of orderly collective bargaining and minimization of proliferation of Trade Unions
  • SADC countries to consider uniformity in employment legislation to tackle challenges faced by employees in the workplace
  • Trade Union official need to be urgently equipped with negotiation and bargaining skills on a continuous basis
  • Trade Unions to reconsider the notion of being affiliated to political parties as this results in genuine worker interests being relegated to the background
  • Safety is a shared responsibility where both the employer and employees have a responsibility
  • Union officials to return to basics and interact with members regularly
  • The abusing of a Trade Union’s majority status by shutting out minority Unions does not benefit the labour movement
  • The fundamental concept of negotiation is based on “give and take”
  • Africa needs to dictate the terms under which Multi-National companies conduct their trade to help ensure that such arrangements are to the benefit of Africa

The overall conference was rated as:

68% Excellent 32% Good 0% Average

Free Seats: 

Each delegate received a cell phone power bank that will go a long way in reminding them of their 3-day experience with ITC. Congratulations to the following delegates who won free seats during the evaluation form draw, we look forward to seeing you next year:

  1. Cynthia Moshesh – Department of Labour (7th Annual Shop Steward Conference 2017)
  2. Zekhaya Gilikidi – Ekurhuleni Municipality (7th Annual Shop Steward Conference 2017)
  3. Major Solomon Radzuma – SAPS (6th Annual labour Management Conference 2016)
  4. Brig Sydney Masuku – SAPS ( 6th Annual Labour Management Conference 2016)

We look forward to hearing some success stories of how our delegates went back to their respective companies and represented the workforce in the best possible way to see positive results for all.