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COSATU concludes its 13th Congress, elects new leadership

COSATU concluded its 4-day 13th National Congress with the announcement of the election results which saw a 50/50 gender split reflected as Zingiswa Losi was elected unopposed as the federation’s President, thus becoming the first female to occupy the top position in COSATU.

The rest of the top six positions, which were uncontested, were announced as follows:

President: Zingiswa Losi (POPCRU)

1st Deputy President: Michael Shingange (NEHAWU)

2nd Deputy President: Louisa Thipe (SACCAWU)

General Secretary: Bheki Ntshalintshali (CEPPAWU)

Deputy General Secretary: Solly Phetoe (SADTU)

National Treasurer: Frida Oesthuizen (SACTWU)


When delivering her closing speech, President Losi said the leadership elected is a true reflection of COSATU: three of the leaders are from the private sector whereas three leaders are from the public sector.

Losi said her election as COSATU President signals that the time for women leaders within the federation to come to the fore and lead the workers is now. She vowed to strengthen the Back to Basics campaign while she will spearhead the quest to stability for many trade unions within COSATU.


The congress expressed its unshaking position on the need to reconfigure the alliance so that equality will prevail. Failure to accede to the reconfiguration of the alliance by the ANC may lead to COSATU putting its weight fully behind the South African Community Party, in light of its congress resolution to contest state power.

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) will work on the declaration in its next meeting.