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SACTWU welcomes National Orders Award for its late president PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 April 2016 10:14


The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) is pleased that our  union’s late President, John Zikhali, had been awarded national honours yesterday.

He was awarded  “The Order of Luthuli – Silver”, during yesterday’s National Orders Award Ceremony, which was held at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.

This was awarded to him posthumously yesterday, when President Jacob Zuma announced a total of 32 National Orders  recipients for 2016.

The National Orders are the highest awards that the country, through its President, bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals.

The late John Zikhali was awarded the Order of Luthuli – Silver,  “… for his excellent contribution to fighting for justice, challenging unjust labour laws through progressive unionism development and galvanising workers…” (extract from the 2016 National Orders information booklet).

This is how the National Orders’ 2016 booklet pays tribute to the late SACTWU President:

“Mr John Mtholeni Zikhali served the trade union movement for more than 30 years at all levels, from shop steward to union president. His contribution to the workers’ movement and the national liberation struggle was massive.

He was a descendant of the 1973 Durban strike wave and carried forward the great fighting traditions of those battles. He has the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Chairperson of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) from 1994-2000.

He was a great mobiliser and played a leading role in the African National Congress’s (ANC) election campaigns, particularly in the historic 1994 campaign, and delivered good results. He was also a renowned peacemaker during a time of intense conflict between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party.

As President of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), he ensured that the union responded well to challenges such as the catastrophic loss of jobs, the flood of cheap imports and the World Trade Organisation’s trade talks which threatened to cut protective tariffs even further.

The Cape Town Fashion Festival is an outstanding initiative by SACTWU to protect and promote the industry and workers. This collaboration with employers, designers, provincial and national government bears testimony to the calibre of Zikhali and those he served within SACTWU. It is an attempt by workers to maximize partnerships meant to save jobs in the clothing, textile and footwear industry.

At the time of his death, Zikhali also served as vice-president of the Brussels-based International, Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation, as a member of the COSATU Central Executive Committee, as a member of the Cotton Board of South Africa and as a Trustee of the SACTWU Educational Trust”.

Issued by

Andre Kriel
General Secretary

If further information or is required, kindly contact SACTWU Media Officer, Nazmia Leite on cell number 072 198 6061  or office number 021 4474570