About Us

Saccawu Constitution

SACCAWU (South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union) was founded in 1975 as CCAWUSA (Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union of South Africa)

From inception was one of the most militant, engaged in a wave of strikes given the repressive and gross, brutal naked exploitative nature of the sectors of her scope at the time and a champion of gender equality and parental rights: “Women Are Workers Too – Children Are Workers Of Tomorrow”; were but part of the chanting and rallying slogans in pursuit and advancement of this noble cause.

In 1989, in response to the clarion call and one of COSATU’s founding principles of One Industry One Union – One Country One Federation, merged with other unions in the sector to form SACCAWU.

This merger process was more of an amalgamation as all other unions were rather small, being Cape Liquor & Catering Workers Union (CLCWU) initially known as Cape Liquor And Catering Trade Employees’ Union; Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union (HARWU) and Retail & Allied Workers Union (RAWU).

The founding General Secretary was the legendary Union stalwart, Comrade Emma Mashinini with Comrade Makhulu Ledwaba elected as the first President of CCAWUSA whilst Comrade Isaac Padi was the National Chairperson and Comrade Dinah Nhlapo, the National Treasurer; respectively .

Both Comrades Emma and Makhulu, as the then General Secretary and President and SACCAWU representatives in the Unity Talks, played an instrumental and pivotal role in the establishment of COSATU and quite central in four (4) years long unity talks preceding the launch in 1985; with Comrade Makhulu Ledwaba elected the 2nd Deputy President at the COSATU inaugural Congress.

SACCAWU is an affiliate of COSATU as well as affiliated to two Global Union Federations (GUFs) initially known as International Trade Secretariats (ITSs) being UNI Global Union (UNI: Union Network International) and International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF). With the General Secretary, Comrade Bones Skulu having for years served on UNI-Global Union Executive as well as the President of UNI-Africa; with some leaders of SACCAWU participating and members of various sub-committees and structures of both IUF and UNI Global Union, both Continentally and Globally; including Trade Union Alliance formations developed for purposes of coordination of campaigns against Multinational/Transnational Corporations of both Domestic and Foreign/Global origin; with the 1st Deputy President, Comrade Angie Phetlhe, the current IUF-Africa President whilst the National Gender Coordinator, Comrade Patricia Nyman-Appolis is the current UNI Global Women’s President.

SACCAWU has eight regions;

  • Eastern Cape
  • Free State/Northern Cape
  • Mpumalanga
  • Northern
  • North West-Vaal
  • Western Cape
  • Witwatersrand regions.
  • Kwazulu Natal

Introduction To Saccawu Constitution

  1. The name of the Union shall be the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU), with its colours of identity being Black, White and Red.

The official emblem shall be a square box, with a black background and red border. Inside the square box, a picture depicting eight front-facing protesters (in white colour), the one on the extreme right raising a clenched fist and the one on the extreme left facing leftwards carrying a red banner inscribed SACCAWU (in black colour) tied to two sticks/wooden holders (in white colour).


Workers in their thousands have united to form SACCAWU:

1.1 to defend and protect themselves and fight for a decent standard of living;
1.2 to build a democratic, just, non-racial and non-sexist society free of all forms of exploitation and oppression;
1.3 to struggle for the abolition of the Capitalist System and for the establishment of a Classless Society.

We believe that this can be achieved only under the Leadership of a united Working Class and we commit ourselves to:

1.4 building a strong and democratic organisation run and controlled by Workers through its mandated Leadership;
1.5 carry out democratic decision-making;
1.6 uniting all Workers in the Trades/Industries in which we operate into one strong National Union;
1.7 eradicate all forms of racism and sexism;
1.8 participate actively in the mobilisation of the broader Working Class.

Our Objectives Are

1.9 to regulate relations between Members and their Employers and to protect and further the interests of Members in relation to their Employers;
1.10 to build a strong and active Shopstewards movement;
1.11 to improve wages and working conditions;
1.12 to resist retrenchments and fight for full employment and job security
1.13 to set up effective Collective Bargaining machinery;
1.14 to democratise the work processes;
1.15 to render efficient service to members;
1.16 to oppose any policy, practice or measure which will cause division or disunity amongst Members or Workers;
1.17 to promote or oppose any laws or administrative measures that affect the interests of Workers;