Zwelinzima Vavi (centre) at the founding congress of Saftu. Picture: Zintle Mahlati
Zwelinzima Vavi (centre) at the founding congress of Saftu. Picture: Zintle Mahlati
Union members from various unions sing and dance at the Saftu Congress in Joburg. Picture: Zintle Mahlati
Union members from various unions sing and dance at the Saftu Congress in Joburg. Picture: Zintle Mahlati

Johannesburg - Affiliates of the South African Federation of Trade Union will begin voting for their preferred leaders at the congress on Saturday with the final results expected to be announced on Sunday.

Nominations are for six positions that of President, deputy President, second deputy President, general-secretary, deputy general-secretary and treasurer.

The final nomination process will end on Saturday night followed by an announcement of the those who have been nominated.

Although none of the popular union leaders within the National Union of Metalworkers SA and the Food and Allied Workers have shied away from confirming whether they would like to take up and positions, some prominent personalities have been tipped to take the top positions.

The steering committee chair for Saftu Zwelimzima Vavi, a former Cosatu boss, has been tipped for the position of general-secretary.

Both Irvin Jim, Numsa general-secretary, and Numsa President Andrew Chirwa said Vavi was likely to take up the position because of his skills and the huge groundwork done to form the federation.

Union members from various unions sing and dance at the Saftu Congress in Joburg. Picture: Zintle Mahlati

Hundreds of delegates are in attendance at the congress, which has been months in making following last year's Workers Summit.

The founding of the federation was propelled by the expulsion of Numsa and Vavi from Cosatu in 2015.

The steering committee of the federation said they planned to be the new home for workers who have lost hope in Cosatu.

They have promised to be more militant and independent from political influence.

What has been confirmed at the congress, which began on Friday, is that the federation will keep the name Saftu after most members voted for it to remain.

The federation was registered in March.

The congress ends on Sunday.

Politics and Development