SATAWU: Facts About South African Transport and Allied Workers Union

Like any other trade union in the world, the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) came about as a result of workers in the transport industry needing to form an association that would serve as a collective bargaining agent and legal representative.

Previously, there existed a number of other independent unions that catered to different factions in the transport industry. The Congress of South African Trade Unions, however, went on to call for one whole trade union in order to stop any counterproductiveness that may come up as a result of the differences between the unions that included The South African Railways and Harbours Workers’ Union (SARHWU), the Black Transnet Allied Trade Union (BLATU), the Transnet Allied Trade Union (TATU), and the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU).

Following prolonged negotiations, with the initial initiation of discussions having begun in the mid-1980s and the actual process only starting in December 1998, these unions merged in 2000 and formed what we now know today as SATAWU, boasting a membership of just under fifty thousand people.

SATAWU particularly organizes workers in the transport sector as well as security and cleaning companies. The sectors include railways, harbors, parastatals, aviation, passenger transport (buses and taxis) freight (trucking), contract, cleaning, and security.

SATAWU accommodates all workers employed in any public or private industries, trades, occupations and undertakings within the country. Its leadership structures cascade from the national leadership to the local area leadership.

Aims and Objective of the Union

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SATAWU aims to advance and defend all the interests of its members with respect to all matters that include unfair labor practices and dismissals, discrimination in the workplace based upon arbitrary grounds like race, gender, sex, ethnic, social origin, colour, birth, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, age, disability, HIV status, religion, culture and political opinion, as well as working towards things of mutual interest between workers and their employers in order to improve the standard of living of the workers and the working class in general.

To ensure the above-mentioned aims are achieved, the union will work towards:

1. Recruiting and uniting workers in order to pursue their economic and social interest and welfare.

2. Provide and promote projects such as education and training for our members and staff.

3. Render effective and quality service to its members

4. Ensure that members actively participate in the union’s activities in determining the destiny of the union

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SATAWU Leadership

SATAWU Leadership (image source)

The leadership of SATAWU’s national office includes a president, two deputy presidents, a treasurer, a general secretary, and a deputy general secretary. The occupants of these positions are:

President – Ntuthuzelo Mhlubulwana
1st Deputy President – Nkoketse Sepogwane
2nd Deputy President – Ayanda Cele
Treasurer – Irene Nthulane
General Secretary – Jack Mazibuko
Deputy General Secretary – Anele Kiet

The trade union further has offices in different provinces all across South Africa that has a secretary, chairperson, deputy chairperson, and treasurer.


Secretary – Thamsaqa Magoda
Treasurer – Unavailable
Chairperson – Zazi Zulu
Deputy Chairperson – Mpho Mankayi

Tel.: 011 492 1140/1

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Acting Secretary – Thulani Dlamini
Treasurer – Siyabonga Khati
Chairperson – Unavailable
Deputy Chairperson – Petros Dlamini

Tel.: 087 742 1967 or 031 301 7147/8

Free State

Secretary – Unavailable
Treasurer – Koos Henani
Chairperson – Unavailable
Deputy Chairperson – Isaac Matome

Tel.: 051 430 3606


Secretary – Paul Nephawe
Treasurer – Unavailable
Chairperson – Unavailable
Deputy Chairperson – Sunday Tlhokwa

Tel.: 015 297 4227

North West

Secretary – Alpheus Phala
Treasurer – Alfred Boboko
Chairperson – Modise Mokoka
Deputy Chairperson – Maggy Majwele

Tel.: 014 592 6161

Western Cape

Provincial Secretary – Tembela Dakuse

Tel.: 087 742 1960 or 021 461 9410/20/21/23

Eastern Cape

Provincial Secretary – Zandile Pakati

Tel.: 043 743 4362/6


Acting Secretary – Solomon Mahlangu
Treasurer – Fikile Nkosi
Chairperson – Nokuthula Sifundza
Deputy Chairperson – Nkoketse Mathabathe

Tel.: 013 656 6792

Northern Cape

Acting Secretary – Bongani Nkinqa
Treasurer – Nomfusi Mbalo
Chairperson – Norman Ilanga
Deputy Chairperson – Heinrich Weilbach

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How To Join SATAWU

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Workers who are not currently members of SATAWU can apply to join the union by simply visiting its website and downloading the Application Form.

Being the largest trade union for transport workers in South Africa, there are various benefits workers in the transport sector can enjoy from aligning with the group. That includes having access to free legal advice, getting protection and support in times of harassment or unfair treatment in the workplace. Most importantly, because of its affiliation with the strong and very respected Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

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Andile Smith
Andile Smith
Andile provides articles on anything from Politics, Sports, History and entertainment to funny, creepy and weird. His passion for writing allows him to take what is ordinary and transform it into a real masterpiece. He's a true storyteller with a passion for tech and literature


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