- Monday, 07 August 2017 09:07
Nofumene Winniefred Mqweba was born in 1963 in Lady Frère in the former Transkei. She started working for SAMWU in October 1988, when SAMWU was in its formation stage. In 1998 she moved to Gauteng to strengthen membership growth in the province, where she introduced an SAP system to manage membership. Today SAMWU is the biggest union in the local government sector because of comrades like Nofumene. She was actively involved in the ANC Yeoville branch since 1999 focusing on developing membership. She is also a well known as a community activist. She was a member of the Yeoville Community Policing Forum and a coordinator of the Victim Empowerment centre at the Yeoville Police station. She established a non- profit organization to represents small business, so they can be recognized and participate in the mainstream economy and is planning to launch a cooperative bank, something she believes will be in great demand in today's challenging economy.
- Monday, 07 August 2017 08:59
The late cde Xolile 'Boss' Nxu spend more than twenty years fighting for the municipal workers in the Western Cape and across the country. He is one of the comrades who contributed immensely to the growth of SAMWU in the Western Cape. From 1988 cde Xolile Nxu held different positions in the trade union movement such as the Provincial Chairmanship of SAMWU in the Western Cape, Western Cape COSATU Provincial Chairmanship and as a 1st Deputy President of SAMWU. His commitment to the Palestinian struggle in the Middle East caused him to be physically barred from going to the Palestine by the apartheid Israeli state. He was passionate about international solidarity work and invited the Palestine Solidarity movement to come and relate the story of their struggles to raise the consciousness of the South African working class.
- Monday, 07 August 2017 08:50
The SAMWU of today is both the product of mergers of various trade unions and recruitment. In 1987 five trade unions organizing municipal workers across the country merged and formed SAMWU. These trade unions included Cape Town Municipal Workers' Association (CTMWA), The Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU), the Municipal Workers Union of South Africa (MWUSA), General Workers' Union of South Africa (GWUSA) and the South African Allied Workers' Union (SAAWU). The comrades who established SAMWU had a clear vision — to lift the living standards and quality of working life of working people in the local government. And their strategy to achieve this was also clear — to build union organization of the municipal workers across the country. 30 years further on, the SAMWU can celebrate a proud record of achievements. Over the last 30 years the SAMWU has made tremendous gains on most important issues— wages, hours, representation, leave, security, safety, etc. This year (2017) mark the 30th anniversary of SAMWU. SAMWU celebrate this milestone by recognizing comrades who contributed to the growth and survival of SAMWU over the past years.
- Monday, 15 May 2017 08:55
John Ernstzen was the first general secretary of SAMWU. He played a key role in building up SAMWU. At the age of 22 in 1962 John was employed by the Cape Town City Council as a laborer in the Parks and Forest Department. In the same year, he joined the Cape Town Municipal Workers Association (CTMWA).John together with other comrades transformed the CTMWA into active democratic and non-racial union.In 1968 he was elected as the full-time General Secretary of CTMWA. Under his leadership the CTMWA joined UDF and became active in the unity talk that eventually led to the formation of COSATU in 1985. John served in the first COSATU CEC and NEC in 1985.When SAMWU was formed on COSATU instructions in 1987, the CTMWA become a key component of the new union and John was elected as the first General Secretary of SAMWU. After 1994, John became a special Advisor to the Ministry for Public Service and Administration and served on various boards.
- Wednesday, 10 May 2017 09:00
The late Richard Spalding, pictured above, was born 06 August 1963. He played a central role in the formation and growth of the SA Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU). Spalding was well-known for standing up for the rights of municipal workers during SAMWU formative years. He was one of the first SAMWU shop stewards in the then Johannesburg City Council (JCC).Spalding worked at the Cas Mia Old age home in Hillbrow. He represented the then Transvaal in national executive committee meetings during SAMWU formative years. At the JCC, Spalding and his fellow comrades had to confront the apartheid municipality whose aim was to smash the union- SAMWU. The JCC security department, now Metro Police Department, spied on union activities by attending SAMWU meeting, disguised as members. The surveillance of union meetings and its key leadership led to attacks on the leaders and their homes by the JCC security department. Spalding and his family survived one of these attacks on his home. However, these attacks never discouraged Spalding. He continued to build SAMWU. Spalding also contributed to the merger of three other unions within the JCC to form the country’s biggest branch of SAMWU. By SAMWU History Project