SAPTU Newsletter – JULY 2016

What’s happening?

SAPTU’s President, Dr Henry Mushonga, has vacated the top position. A new President and additional member of the Executive Committee will be elected at a forthcoming congress. The chairpersons of all affiliated branches will be invited to the congress. More about the congress in a later newsletter

SAPTU’s finances are healthy and our auditors have declared the union a viable concern.

In order to maintain our financial performance, SAPTU has introduced a Policy and Procedure for Fiscal Discipline and Economic Measure. The Policy makes provision for the establishment of a Financial Committee which is responsible for the financial management of the Union – in other words to oversee the responsible disbursement of our members’ membership fees. Our aim is to utilise the income from the membership fees to the benefit of our members. The Finance Committee, under the leadership of Prof Pierre van Niekerk, and together with General Secretary Advocate Ben van der Walt and Finance Secretary Bianca Rautenbach, meets once a month and reports directly to the Executive Committee. The Committee has been keeping a tight rein on SAPTU’s income and expenditure and in the last financial year SAPTU achieved a surplus.

Stellenbosch office
Our Stellenbosch office has expanded due to the increased recruitment activities, particularly in the agricultural sector in the Western Cape. Nellie Snyman, the office manager is now being assisted by Levene Smit who has made great strides in the efficient running of the Stellenbosch office. Our recruiters, Estelle Katumba, Ongama Tshona and Daniel Olyn, have been supplied with SAPTU jackets and ties. Daniel Olyn has also been assisting with disciplinary and appeal hearings at the National Health Laboratory Service and with recruiting of members at Legal Aid SA Justice Centres in the Western Cape.

Our Stellenbosch office has also requested SAPTU to consider producing guidelines specifically for SAPTU representatives/shop stewards. This is an excellent suggestion and management will shortly start working on this project.

SAPTU donates to soup kitchen
SAPTU’s executive committee has decided to donate monthly to a very deserving cause run by one of our members in Port Elizabeth. Noluthando (Thandi) Maqungu of SAPTU’s Legal Aid branch in PE has been running a soup kitchen in the Kwazakhele location since 2011. The habitats in the area are shacks and the head of most of the households are teenagers who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. With sponsorship of bags soup powder and vegetables, Thandi has been able to offer these families soup from a church twice a week. Thandi would like to extend this feeding scheme, but says:

“Because of lack of resources, I sometimes have to dig in my pocket to buy a bag of soup. It makes me sad to see that I am failing our poor community who go to bed hungry. Any help or assistance will be appreciated”. SAPTU will be donating bags of soup powder to the value of R1,000 a month to this very worthy project.

Last Will and Testament
A Last will and Testament allows you to communicate your wishes and make things easier for the people you care about. Creating a Last Will and Testament will ensure all you leave behind – including the care of your children, and even your pets – will be taken care of according to your wishes.

And with SAPTU’s help, this task has been made easy. Guidelines for this important document can be found on the SAPTU website, see

Amendment Higher Education Bill 2015
SAPTU provided a legal opinion and presentations on the above Bill to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education. SAPTU pointed out that it is desirable for higher education institutions to enjoy their acknowledge freedom and autonomy in their relationship with the State within the context of public autonomy.

Legal Aid South Africa
SAPTU made various presentations to Legal Aid Management regarding the frustration expressed by the employees in the delay in the finalisation of the cost of living increase (COLI).

Letters were also addressed to parliamentarians and the office of the Minister of Justice raising our concerns. In this regard the possibility of strike action was mentioned. The cost of living increase has, however, now been approved and implemented.

Agricultural Sector/SAPTU in AWETUC/SAPTU and Transvaal Agricultural Union (TLU)
SAPTU is at present engaged in negotiations with the TLU to reach a co-operation agreement in order to assist them on agricultural matters on a national basis. It is estimated that there are
+ 47 800 farm workers in the employment of their members.

The Agricultural Workers Education Trade Union Council (Awetuc) based in the Western Cape is a non-profit organisation, launched in 2014. The vision of Awetuc is to educate the workers in the agricultural sector, particularly regarding their rights and on social issues. Awetuc also aims to run sustainable campaigns to improve the lives of farmworkers and their families.

Awetuc’s mission is to unite all the unions in the agricultural sector together, lobby government on issues of common interest, look at new strategies and partners to strengthen the unions in the agricultural sector, build strong leadership and make Awetuc a school of training for farm workers.

There are nine unions represented within Awetuc and Estelle Katumba from our Stellenbosch office is very actively representing SAPTU in this organisation in her capacity as Chairperson.

National Minimum Wage
SAPTU is part of a task team which participates in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to determine a national minimum wage for all sectors in South Africa. In this regard our contribution is mainly focussed on the Agricultural Sector

National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS)
SAPTU has again requested the CCMA to extend the period of conciliation to settle the dispute regarding the adjustment of salaries of employees in the D-band.

Productivity SA
SAPTU has declared a wage dispute at the CCMA with Management. Management has offered a 5% salary increase whilst SAPTU demands 7.5%. Management’s offer was rejected.

Stellenbosch University received an annual salary increase of 7%. University of North West received 4,6% plus 0.4% will be paid out in Desember 2016. University of Sefako Magatho Health is still in the process of negotiations.

Stellenbosch University has taken a decision to remunerate its female and male staff equally.