About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

South African Congress Of Trade Unions (SACTU)

SACTU was founded in 1955 by those who were critical of the decision taken by the Trade Union Congress of South Africa (TUCSA) that only registered (non-African) unions could join the congress. Its basic approach was that in South Africa industrial relations could not be divorced from politics and it openly engaged in political activities rather than confining itself to conventional trade union action. This made it an easy target for the authorities. SACTU was closely associated with the ANC* and joined the Congress Alliance* as its trade union wing. Its membership, almost exclusively black, grew rapidly in the aftermath of the Defiance Campaign but many of its leaders were banned and it was forced underground in 1960.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.