JOHANNESBURG – Labour federation Saftu’s two largest affiliates, Numsa and Fawu, have experienced a drop in membership while some of its smaller members have seen tremendous growth over the past five years.
This is contained in an organisational report being delivered by outgoing general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi at Saftu’s second elective conference in Boksburg on Tuesday.
A stalemate over the suspension of four office bearers delayed most of Monday’s programme.
Numsa wants the four reinstated; they were removed after sending Vavi an intention of suspension notice.
Saftu, in its organisational report, describes its loss of members as regrettable. The federation, formed by 24 unions, has lost nearly 79,000 members over the past five years.
In a report delivered by Vavi, the unions collectively had 691,000 members, growing them to over 725,000 in 2018 and now shedding support in the working space as battles between Vavi and Numsa ensue.
Numsa has declined from more than 340,000 in August 2018 to 290,000 members this year.
While Fawu, the second largest, had managed to grow its numbers to 128,000 but has seen a drop back to the 124,000 members it had in August 2018.
The report says all unions everywhere have suffered.
Meanwhile, voting for or against the reinstatement of the four office bearers is to take place.
The results from this showdown will also give an indication of how the race to lead Saftu might shape up.
Vavi is fighting to remain at the helm of an organisation he helped to establish.
The conference will close on Thursday.