The detail that is presented hereunder is about what is now known as CONSAWU.


Late in 2001 a number of unions at the time not affiliated to any Labour Federation in particular felt the need to be together in a Confederation. These unions are unions which could truly claim to be no darling or sweetheart to any employer. These unions were touched by the continuing casualisation, outsourcing, decreasing salaries/wages, unemployment, anti employee legal framework, spread of fatal diseases, etc. They also felt the sudden strong need to speak in one voice and further establish international relations.

Various task teams were established, mandates were obtained, workshops took place, and these activities laid the foundation for what is now CONSAWU. A Convener was elected Mr Henry Hendricks.


CONSAWU was launched in a National Congress held at Caesars Conference Centre on 8 March 2003. This was attended by more than four hundred delegates and guests from RSA and various parts of the world. This launch was followed by public comments assigning CONSAWU to the dustbin of history, these are people or organizations who behave as if they have a God given right to decide the destiny of mankind yet their own track record regrettably leaves much to be desired.


  • Human-being being above all else including profit
  • Plural Democracy
  • Being Political but no alignment to any party or employer
  • Every person is entitled to a decent standard of living
  • No discrimination and no domination

These are some of the founding principles and policies.


Victory is Certain

Aims and Objectives

The Confederation promotes labour unity and not in opposition to any existing federation, but with the following aims and objectives:

  1. To eradicate poverty, exploitation and discrimination in all workplaces.
  2. To secure social and economic justice for all workers.
  3. To strive for the building of a united workforce regardless of race, colour, creed or gender.
  4. To encourage all workers to join trade unions and to develop a spirit of solidarity among all workers, on the principle of equality, peace and justice for all workers.
  5. To understand how the economy of the country affects workers and to formulate clear policies as to how the economy should be structured to serve the best interests of the workers.
  6. To work for a restructuring of the economy that will allow the creation of wealth to be democratically controlled and its fruits shared by all South Africans.
  7. To strive for just standards of living, social security and fair conditions of work for all.
  8. To help actively in the formation of party politically non-aligned trade unions in all sectors where none exist.
  9. To assist member unions, operating in the same sector, on request, to merge or establish co-operation agreements.
  10. To facilitate and co-ordinate lifelong learning and training of all workers so as to further their interest and that of the country.
  11. To comment on, advance or oppose any law, action or policy of any authority or institution affecting the interests of members in particular, or the workers in general.
  12. To conduct, co-ordinate and publish research into matters affecting workers.
  13. To undertake the institution or defense of legal proceedings affecting the interests of the Confederation or any of its members, by or against any person, body or association.

Membership of consawu

CONSAWU has a membership of 27 unions representing 290 000 workers in the following sectors: Public service, education, agriculture, fishing, retail, manufacturing, metal, building and construction, mining, transport, catering, health and welfare and security.

Head Office

It is situated at 21 Adriana Crescent, Gateway Industrial Park, Rooihuiskraal X25, Centurion.

Leadership at Launch

General Secretary: Mr Henry Hendricks
President: Mrs Thelma Louw

Current Leadership

  • Mr. Joel Mfingwana President
  • Mrs. Thelma Louw Deputy President
  • Mr. Monde Mkele 1st Vice President
  • Mr. Piet Du Plooy 2nd Vice President
  • Mr. Thulani Hlatshwayo National Treasurer
  • Mrs. Hilda Marima Equity Office Bearer
  • Mr. Rodney Damon Sector Office Bearer
  • Mr. Khulile Nkushubana General Secretary

There are various other layers of leadership as per Constitution.

First Ordinary Congress

May 2004 at Cedar Park Hotel & Conference Centre, Woodmead.

Second Ordinary Congress

July 2006 at Orion Devonshire Hotel & Conference Centre, Braamfontein.