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12th National Congress!



It’s time for National Congress again! Our Union’s Congress is held once every 3 years. It will take place on 22 – 25 August this year. Over 700 delegates, guests and union staff will gather for this important event. Congress is the highest decision making body of the union and will review the work of the organisation, decide on our main programmes for the next few years. It will also elect the union’s new National Office Bearers, who will serve until the next elections in 3 years time. This is part of democracy in our organisation enshrined in our Constitution. It follows on the shop stewards elections held in more than 950 work places earlier this year and branch and regional elections, held there after. The Congress theme is “Unity, Cohesion and Radical Transformation for Sustainable Growth and Decent Work”

After the Congress, our members will receive report backs on the main decisions taken at this important meeting. The main issues to be discussed include the following:

  • How to save jobs
  • How to grow the industry
  • What has happened in our wage negotiations and our new collective bargaining strategy
  • How to improve union benefits
  • What can we do to give a better service to members
  • How to fight HIV/AIDS
  • COSATU developments
  • International affairs
  • How to strengthen the struggles of woman workers
  • Political developments and
  • Our program of action for the next few years

The last Congress, held in 2010 in Cape Town, had the theme "A New Growth Path for Decent Work in the clothing, textiles, footwear and leather industry.” On Thursday morning (22 August 2013), Congress will be opened with an address by the South African State President, Jacob Zuma. Congress will also be addressed by Ebrahim Patel (Minister of Economic Development), Jeremy Cronin (SACP Deputy Secretary General, and Deputy Minister of Public Works), Mildred Oliphant (Minister of Labour), and Issa Aremu (General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment & Tailoring Workers of Nigeria), amongst others.

Congress is also expected to view video message of solidarity from Dr Rob Davies (Minister of Trade and Industry), Ivan Pillay (Acting Commissioner, SARS) and Jyrki Raina (General Secretary of IndustriAll Global Union), amongst others.  

On Saturday evening, 24th August, the union will host its Congress Awards gala dinner where branches, shop stewards and staff who have made a significant contribution to the organisation over the last three years, will be honoured.

On 25 August 2013, a session of Congress will be dedicated to elections of National Offfice Bearers.