Essay, 16 pages (4000 words)

Trade unions of south africa economics essay

The work of World trade organization is mainly dealing with rules about the trade, agreement and negotiation in helping importers, exports producers conduct their business. The organization implemented rule of trade among the countries worldwide. It is an organization for trade opening and forum for governments to negotiate trade related agreements and also work for handling of trade dispute between countries.

The World Trade Organization is currently the host to new negotiations in Doha. Its present work comes from the 1986-94 negotiations which are called the Uruguay Round and earlier negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The Organization helps to lower the trade barriers and help to support the opening the market in some situations by supporting rules according to written in World Trade Organization agreements and regulate market.

The main characteristic of World Trade Organization is without partialities and nation should not discriminate among their partner . The organization should encourage the trade by lowering the barriers of trade, Also Organization transparent in their work for encourage consistency in trade, and investment for giving consumer maximum benefits of competition by lowering down the price, It restricts unfair practices by regulation of trade, The organization gives stage for developing nations for transaction in to the world economy. World Trade Organization not only protects the business environment but also work for health of planet, humans and animals.

The major judgments of the organization is taken by the government employee which are, ambassador and delegates, it could not coordinate without its Secretariat to the activities which have staff around 600 and statisticians, communications experts, economists, lawyers to guide World Trade Organization members on a on a daily basis to make sure the negotiation progress easily according to the rules of international trade are correctly applied and forced.

The agreements of World Trade Organization cover all the academic property right, goods and services. They include every country’s commitment to lower society tariffs and other trade barriers and keep open services markets. These agreements are not lasting they are renegotiated from regularly and new agreements added to the package.

World Trade Organization agreements require governments for making trade policies transparent for laws in force and measures. World Trade Organization councils and committees have to ensure that these requirements are being followed and agreements are being properly implemented. The member of World Trade Organization must experience regular observation of their trade policies and practices and review containing reports by the country worried and the World Trade Organization Secretariat. In to the dispute settlement the judgment is taken by the specifically appointed independent experts who identify the agreements and individual nations’ commitments.

World Trade Organization agreements contain special provision for expanding countries and gives longer time periods to implement agreements and commitment to increase the opportunities for trade and support to increase their trade capacity and push up their technical standards. The World Trade Organization organizes lots of practical support missions in developing countries yearly to develop skills and infrastructure. It also holds so many courses each year in Geneva for government officials.

The World Trade Organization maintains regular discussion with non-governmental organizations, general public, the media and other international organizations, parliamentarians on various aspects of the World Trade Organization and the ongoing Doha negotiations, for enhancing mutual aid and increasing awareness of World Trade Organization activities.

The World Trade Organization is the only international body developed on 1st January 1995 because of based on a trading system dating back to the end of the Second World War. Since 1948 the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade had given the rules for the system.

On 15th December, 1993 the GATT association was transformed into the World Trade Organization. GATT deal mainly with trade in goods, the World Trade Organization and its agreements now cover trade in services, and in traded inventions, creations and intellectual property. The main purpose is to ensure that trade flows as liberally and without partiality as possible with the aim of improving the welfare of the peoples of its member nations.

South Africa was a member of the GATT and participated in the Uruguay Round of debate. The country ratified the Marrakesh Agreement in December 1994 and thus became a founding member of the World Trade Organization when the Organization was established. At 1 January 2002 there were 141 members and 31 observer governments in World Trade Organization.

World Trade Organization member decided to launch a new round of global trade negotiations at the Ministerial meeting Doha, Qatar in November 2001. It states that “ International trade can play a major role in the promotion of economic development and shrink of poverty and gives the positive effect to the country . Also International trade can secure a share of growth and development. South Africa recognizes their peoples to help from the increased opportunities and welfare gains from the mutual trading system generate in this context, enhanced market capability, rules, and well targeted, financed technical assistance and capacity building programs have important roles to play in safety.

South African popular movement analyze and activate participating in World Trade Organization and other institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank always are facing problem about the government of South African government inventiveness. It is important institution and progressive organizations are more fully informed on sources and causes and government inventiveness should be mention.

The new South African team in Geneva with many other developing country delegations struggled to deal with many regular meetings and other day-to-day demands in the World Trade organization as well as the extremely complex earlier negotiations to direct the Third Ministerial Conference agenda. At this platform the South African government seems to have been supporting the general position of the majority developing nations against the initiate of a new round. The added burdens would occur both from their economic impact and implications, but also from the extreme problems for such countries to cope with the multiple simultaneous negotiation processes proposed.

South Africa, the start of the Seattle process, emphasized to the rest of the Africa Group that, it was devoted to the broader Geneva consensus-building process aiming to create a text to guide the way to a new round. With some other countries, South Africa also stated that it would function on the principle that delegation about to pursue their own national positions and strategic aims. But this had particularly marked significance in the case of South Africa because contentious practice in the Seattle situation.

There are many important lessons to be drawn about the character and functioning of the World Trade Organization, and affected broader political processes external to the World Trade Organization are the number of important challenges facing the SA government observations that “ no member willing to help without interests and concerns of the vast majority of countries. “

South African officials’ own assessments of this country’s skills and capacities, it is extremely doubtful for South Africa to follow a ‘ broad-based’ agenda. They have been stating for years that they could not cope with and do not want a new and complex multi-dimensional on all sides . First World Trade Organization Ministerial in Singapore in December 1996, had been demanding that main concern attention be given to the implementation issues and to Africa’s most pressing problems and development agenda. That made the questionable role of World Trade Organization between Africa and developed world

South African government and media and interpretations of the nature and effects and strategies within Africa, this country is persistently portrayed by South Africa government spokespersons and the media to be playing a leading role in building alliances with and between other developing countries. South Africa’s aims and claims about its ‘ leading role’ for developing countries. Already in 2000, the Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry was on public record declaring that in the World Trade Organization “ South Africa has developed a leading role and is seen to articulate the best interests in trade and development. 4th Ministerial in Doha, that the general public in this country might be seriously mislead about the full reality of the process and South Africa’s role, about the outcome of Doha and the implication of this latest phase in the expansion of the role and powers of the World Trade Organization

The development agenda is The Doha agreement, the more excited and less restrained media commentators. the sensitivities, qualms and continuous conflict to a new round amongst developing countries, is more sensitive in stressing that what emerged from Doha was agreement on a ‘ work programmed’ for the period up to 5th Ministerial Conference in 2003, and that there are “ various interpretation and emphasis” on detail that still need to be worked upon the notorious new issues.

The first issue is that “ Ministers come into view to have already agreed to negotiate the new issues after the 5th Ministerial Conference , but a second issue is based on the conference chairman’s official statement, in response to India’s demand for explanation that “ a agreement is needed on the very question of whether to begin negotiation or not.

The South African government had been for the ‘ broad-based agenda’ in advance that South Africa promoted before Doha now covers some nineteen areas and is even more difficult than the Uruguay surrounding which took eight years to complete. It is predictable that further major negotiations in the World Trade Organization will be concluded by January 2005.

Trade unions are voluntary organization of workers for promoting and defend their interest. We can say that the trade union is an organization of employees formed on a permanent basis for securing diverse range of settlement.

Trade union is an association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their working lives. This definition is related to both the employers and workers and their associations. Relationships are both impermanent and permanent. So it means that it applies to temporary employees, which are on contract base as well as the permanent worker. The relationship includes:

Employers and employers.

Workmen and workmen

Employers and workmen

Thus, it is said that a trade union is group of workers in particular field, whose aim is to bargaining about working hours, over pay, job security, etc, using the group power. In general, a union to stand for the interests of its members, and May even engages in political activity where law affects their employees. Their main aim is to defending the welfare. They defend the social political interests of their members and the economy of their country.


The Trade union is an organization of employers, employee and independent workers. It is also an organization for the intellectual labour. It is permanently body and structure on nonstop bases. It is created to protect and promote all kinds of welfare like social, economic, political of its member. The organization achieves its goal through collective action and group effort. Debate and collective bargaining are the tools for to complete objectives. Trade unions have shown marked development since their starting and the personality of trade unions has also been changing. In spite of only focusing on the economic benefits of workers, the trade unions are also working for raising the status of labors as a part of industry.


There are four types of trade union.

Craft Union: In Craft union there are for skilled laborers that work in a particular segment or for a particular craft. These types of unions are also called as horizontal unions. For example we can take teacher union.

Industrial Union: In industrial union they stand for the workers of an industry. Means all the workers in that industry, the workers are not considered by their occupation or job.

General Union: General unions are from laborer from all industries and profession . It is not that matter that from which sector of the workforce they come from.

White Color Union: They are for professionals who work from an organization such as those who has a decision-making or administrative position. Trade unions prefer diplomatic methods for achieving their demands, but they can also go additional for strikes and such practices.

The base of today’s trade union progress was laid in 1973 when about 100 000 employees in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, goes on strike to demand higher salary. Than the Other workers joined that strike, So Durban’s whole industrial was in strike activity. The strikes soon spread to other major centers in the country and forma of a number of industrial unions. Starting in Durban, the trade union association was in support of union acknowledgment and higher wages soon translated into political issue. The apartheid-era Industrial reconciliation Act, for example, Indian Colored workers to belong to trade unions while denying black workers the same right recognized the right of white, Unions began to participating in community struggles against unfair laws, high rents and misbehavior of local councils. A supportive relationship between unions and community organization was recognized . The trade unions’ valuable organizational and negotiating experience was shared with community activists to establish of recruitment.

In 1983, unions also played a significant political role when they joined up with to form the United Democratic Front, for broad-based movement that campaign against the parliament catering for whites, Indians and colored to the exclusion of black people.

Many trade union leaders became members of the African National Congress (ANC) after the 1994 elections and carry on to play a very outstanding role in the South African economy. Trade unions had an all the time more positive effect on members’ remuneration and wellbeing. South African unions are found in the public eye as a extend of unnecessary inflexibility in the labor market.

Unions engage in three broad categories of activities:

Political activities

Traditional wage setting activities

Maintaining and influencing relationships between their members and employers

Union activity results in improved wages, which decline in the equality of pay within markets and between workers. An important quality of the South African labor market is that union wage benefits are extended to nonunionized employees through the Industrial Council system.

The major influencing factor in any country is Trade Union of any country for doing the business. Many trade union leaders became well-known members of the African National Congress (ANC) after the 1994 elections. Trade unions played an important role in South Africa’s transition from apartheid in 1994 and keep on a very public role in the South African economy. Trade unions have created positive effect on members’ wages, even though it seems that this increase has resulted in part from changes in the composition of union membership. Unions had a disparity character, with union premiums for workers at the lower end of the wage distribution being greater than those for workers at the higher end of the wage distribution.

The key unions are:





In the country like South Africa where there are not developed state and people are also illiterate but their awareness of the Trade Union is influence much more than any other country and one of the trade union is ‘ The Congress of South African Trade Unions’ which encompasses 1. 8 million workers grouped into 19 associated with trade unions. And have total 33 trade unions in the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

NACTU considers that workers are workers irrespective of color, creed and ethnic origin and share the same exploitation by employers.  Apartheid employers have used discrimination as a strategy to divide the working class and fall off its struggles.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions thinks in non-racialism, worker control, paid-up connection between union people and international worker harmony. They are looking for protection and further the interests of all workers. It established based on the slogan of working class “ an injury to one is an injury to all”.

The primary objective of COSATU is to fight for worker rights by economic justice and standard of living.

And the secondary objectives are as follows:

To create unity in union by encouraging all workers.

To unite progressive and democratic trade union.

To encourage industrial unions by forming broadly based industrial unions in all industries where none exist.

To support member by encouraging co-operation among associates co-ordination of joint activities.


South Africa is the second-largest federation, include 520 000 members organized into 27 members. Its major associate union is the Public Service Association have 200 000 members. It was set up in 1997 by integrating with the Federation of South African Labor Unions and the Federation of Civil Servants. It is political and democratic by its uniqueness.

The country has skilled talent such as technicians, administrative employees, pilots, flight engineers, general assistants, nurses, doctors, teachers and other skilled and semi – skilled employees from both the public and private sector of the economy which help in the growth of GDP.

FEDUSA’s basically form for tougher, self-reliant in party, non racial and stable trade organization. At global level this union has constant good relations and therefore is currently associated to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Since 1997 it has flourish well compare to other union as various trade unions came and left over the years and most trade unions saw a decline in stage, it continues to protect workers’ rights and promote workers’ interests actively.

It mainly dealt with its real authorization, place of work matters and problems that affect its members.  For this reason FEDUSA’s area of concern is on its capacity and energy on national and international representation to affect real influence in policy and implementation.


The National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU) is South Africa’s third-largest federation composing 20 associate unions linking to 400 000 member.

NACTU was formed shortly after the formation of COSATU. It is essential to know some of the objectives of NACTU set itself and its founding congress that were outline in Clause 6 of the NACTU Constitution to understand its role as a Federation.

The motive is to build a united worker , to develop effective principle in society , to enforcement workers’ right and law to advance economic well being, the implementation of worker’ right and protection of interest. To carry out and co-ordinate research in all matters affecting workers and promote industrial democracy.


Non-Racialism: NACTU have faith that workers are irrespective of color, creed and ethnic origin.

Worker Control: NACTU believes that a union is formed to advance the interest of workers. All committee and structures of the unions and the Federation should be composed by the workers.

Working Class Leadership: This principle requires that the leadership of NACTU should have the genuine class interests of working people.

Financial Accountability: Within unions and the Federation, Responsibility on funding is an main principle that must be implemented through regular financial statements and annual audits.

No Relationship with Political Organizations: NACTU think that workers join unions because of the material condition at their workplaces not because of party political preferences.

Autonomy of United Trade Unions: associated trade unions are free to carry out their activities without interference by Federation or its spokesperson. This principle pertaining to a union which operates within NACTU principles and rules.

These principles have work as a basis of NACTU in hence with the constitution also that says “ to promote the principles of independence and democratic trade unionism and to ensure its acceptance by the community and society as a whole in a manner coincide with the preamble and to ensure permanent co-operation to achieve common goals”.

Recently South Africa is in news for the violent and illegal strikes in September 2012 that go beyond their level in Johannesburg. When some 3, 000 workers at South Africa’s platinum mine decided they weren’t contented with their current union. So they went on strike for higher remuneration without union consent and facing off police.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions was hosting its 11th annual meeting, with President Zuma informing about the flaws because of mining strike. On September 17, 2012, the COSATU meeting played host to a number of trade union and government delegates.

President Jacob Zuma has spoken about the Congress the economic hit the country has been subject to due to the on-going stop the progress of production. Strikes in the country have spread like wildfire, sparking violence, and shortages of goods. A one-day strike may impact about 30 percent to 40 percent of the economy. The strikes spread to other major centers in the country, quickly the arising a number of industrially isolated unions, starting in Durban and Pietermaritzburg. So it was born a national, even though fall apart, trade union movement. The militancy shown by the trade union movement in support of union recognition and higher wages soon translated into political mobilization against apartheid structures.

Mining accounts for over 60 percent of South Africa’s export income, with trade in gold, platinum, and coal higher than any other.  While the miners’ strikes have been taking place over the previous six weeks, stop the progress of production in some plants entirely, with other operations managing to resolve their disputes with only minor decreases in productivity.  The strikes spread to other mining companies and affect the transport industry

And that result in to the three week of the work stoppage around 12000 workers is fired. And so COSATU push President Jacob Zuma to ban labour broker and arrange the short term contract to hire workers o the permanent basis. The labor federation has criticized the government for not doing enough to cut a jobless rate of 24 percent and control costs as inflation erodes wage gains.


As the other country the Media industry is also play the important role in the South Africa

The Industry includes the broad categories of media industry. And that are the television, radio, broadcasting, print, news agencies and media diversity.

Broadcasting is mainly for the citizen empowerment and is independence of the public broadcaster. The Primary undertaking of the SABC is

to be People centered

to be content ambitious

to be Technology enabled

to be Strategically focused

to be Maintain Public Service Broadcaster

Brief of Radio Industry Growth

Radio set

15. 4-million

Radio Listener


South Africans spend an average of three-and-a-half hours a day listening to the radio.

Source: south African research agency

The corporation’s commercial stations


a national youth music station,

Metro FM,

Channel Africa

The largest radio stations of country -Ukhozi FM, with 4. 3-million listeners a week.

After 1994, South Africa’s broadcasting authority processed hundreds of community radio license applications from rural women’s cooperatives, Afrikaans communities and various religious bodies.

Although community radios combat to access advertising and other forms of financing are providing diversity to listener. Community radio stations are self-governing, non-profit, community-based organizations.

There are 165 community radio stations on and above currently on air in South Africa, which together broadcast to 8, 55-million listeners a week as per South African Advertising Research Foundation.

The SABC’s television network include four television channels – three of them free-to-air and another pay-TV.

The local print media is the best for the country as it also cost effective and good reach to the consumer. This is one reason why newspapers and magazines have held their own in a volatile information era, South African newspapers and magazines are mainly organized into several major publishing houses such as;

Media24 (Part Of Naspers, The Largest Media Group In Africa)

Independent News & Media (Pty) Limited Group

Caxton Publishers & Printers Limited

Avusa Limited.

In The End of 2011, total magazine circulation increased from because of a large new custom title (Vodacom Now!), while consumer magazines showed growth, mainly because of new entrants.

In the consumer-magazine category, total magazine flow improved positively by 1. 4% while real circulation declined by 3. 7% (or 233 000 copies). Both single-copy sales and subscriptions declined. Free circulation increased by 37, 4%, mainly because of new free circulating titles. In the family-interest category, DRUM showed the largest increase: 7% to 137 544 single-copy sales.

The national news agency, the South African Press Association, is a cooperative, non-profit organization. The key foreign news agencies operating in South Africa are: Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press (AP), Deutsche Presse Agentur, and United Press International.

The independent Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) are jointly funded by government, the media and other donors. It works to foster diversity, particularly in community and small commercial media. By mid-2011, the MDDA was providing support to more than 343 media projects across South Africa, and has a center of attention on needy communities, By mid-2011, the agency had trained over 1 300 people, provided to different radio and print media, and created approximately 200) job prospects and beneficiary projects, which allowed more people with skills that enabled them to participate in the broader media and broadcasting industry.

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