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Friday, 10 March 2017 07:40

Article in the Daily Maverick: 09/03/2017


On Friday the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) will march on SARS headquarters in Pretoria in an attempt at highlighting the negative impact of a lack of enforcement and inspection of imported goods at South Africa’s customs points. As the local sector bleeds jobs because of cheap and illegal imports, the apparent disarray at SARS also cost the fiscus at least R3-billion in unpaid import taxes on Chinese imports in 2014 alone. This, say union researchers, could have funded 9-million monthly child support and 2.1-million monthly old age grants in 2015 and could be regarded as a form of economic sabotage. By MARIANNE THAMM.


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Sunday Times Article - Made-in-China fashion becomes so last season for local retailers PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 February 2017 11:28

Sunday Times Article - Made-in-China fashion becomes so last season for local retailers

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Power 98.7 Radio interviews SALRI ( South African Labour Research Institute ) Executive Director Etienne Vlok





KZN Newcastle Human Trafficking PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 February 2017 00:00

Sactwu Media Release : 

The SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) is revolted by the fact that human-trafficking is taking place in clothing factories in Newcastle. This has come to light since the Hawks raided a Newcastle-based clothing factory on Friday to free foreign trafficked workers who were allegedly locked inside the factory premises at night and held against their will. (See https://www.saps.gov.za/newsroom/selnewsdetails.php?nid=10116)

We have heard whispers of this happening before. However in those cases we were not able to convince workers to step forward as witnesses. This latest finding will hopefully result in a thorough investigation by authorities into the extent of this problem in Newcastle.

In some ways we are not surprised by this latest abuse of human rights by Newcastle factories. We have long said that the town operates like the Wild West. It has the highest concentration of illegality in the clothing industry nationally, with abuses of labour and human rights occurring virtually across the board. It has its own logic and rules, and blatantly and consistently disregards the authorities. The industry regulator, the Departments of Home Affairs and Labour, and the SAPS all continuously try to enforce laws in Newcastle, but at each point the Newcastle-cowboys resist and find new means to continue their games.

These Newcastle-cowboys have even used their golden tongues to charm large portions of South Africa’s political, academic and business establishment, presenting themselves as honest and hardworking heroes of a new way of doing business in South Africa.

In this particular case, workers appear to have been lured and trafficked to Newcastle from surrounding countries by the false promise of decent employment and higher wages. Yet not only did it turn out to be sweatshop employment, but the factory apparently even locked workers inside the premises at night. It is incredible that this can happen in 2017. The problem of locking workers inside factories has been repeatedly identified in the town, and it even once caused the death of two babies which were born to a mother locked up at night in one of the factories. Yet despite this problem having made national headlines at the time, and despite this issue of locking workers up having been flagged with the local industrialists many times, it has happened again.


Issued by Andre Kriel

General Secretary



For more information, contact Simon Eppel, Senior Researcher, SACTWU on 083 6523559/021 4474570

SACTWU 13th National Congress PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 September 2016 00:00

The 13th Congress of SACTWU took place from the 21-24th September 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa, under the theme Defend the democracy, protect workers, build unity, fight corruption, grow jobs and strengthen service to members'

The National Congress is the highest policy- and decision making structure of the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU).  The union's constitution requires it to be held once every three years. Congress is an opportunity to review the work of the organisation, specifically progress with the implementation of its Programme of Action decisions adopted at the previous Congress held 3 years ago. It is also an opportunity renew the mandates on policy and leadership, for the period ahead. 

The last Congress was held in August 2013, at the Durban International Convention Centre. This year's Congress was the union's 13th since its founding in 1989 and over 900 delegates, guests and staff members attended.

More information on the event can be found in the dedicated NATIONAL CONGRESS 2016 section.


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