New health and safety union SARSU formed

New health and safety union SARSU launched in October 2014 to represent Sheq practitioners and to address workplace, gender and corruption issues.

The Safety and Related Services Union (SARSU) is registered with the Department of Labour. It has no political affiliation, and represents members in bargaining with employers on health and safety issues, wages, environmental and quality matters.

SARSU was started by Jeremy Rundle, Monique Motloung, and Ntuthuko Dumakude, “in response to a clear need for an organisation dedicated solely to safety, health, environment and quality practitioners.

“Workers, in particular women, should organise themselves to protect all workers’ rights. We therefore started the union for Sheq officials and related professions and practices, who are in need of representation and protection of their rights.

“SARSU will place emphasis on equality between men and women, support noteworthy practitioners, and lobby for an official system of recognition of training institutions and minimum wages.

“We will also express the voice of the people who are affected when laws and regulations are passed without due process being followed.”

The issue of training providers seems aimed against rogue providers who exploit learners with low quality or unrecognised health and safety training.

SARSU is based in Durban, with satellite offices in each of the major centers. The health and safety union launch was in Durban on 17 October 2014, noting “the struggle of employees marred by stagnation and political alliances formed by existing unions, who have lost sight of the needs of their members.

“As a union focused on the health and wellbeing of employees, as provided for in the Constitution and the Labour Relations Act, SARSU will serve workers, where other unions have failed to deliver on their mandate as representatives of the working class.

“SARSU’s aim is better working conditions in all sectors, increased minimum wages, legislative amendments to the draconian practice of labour broking, and improved regulation of training facilities to providing recognition of training on a national scale.”

SARSU oppposes OHS registration schemes

SARSU co-founder Jeremy Rundle wrote to consulting body NIOCCSA; “We oppose this ridiculous idea [of construction health and safety professional registration].

“Due diligence and effective industry consulting methods were not followed [for the Construction Regulations Amendment, and for the appointment of the SACPCMP as a designated registrar], and it would result in major repercussions to the ‘boots on the ground.”

On another theme of administrative fairness, SARSU general secretary Ntuthuko Dumakude wrote about E-tolling; “SARSU welcomes the stance taken by the ANC in Gauteng in relation to the Electronic Tolling of public roads (E-Tolls) in the province, their change in stance and the recognition that this endeavour was doomed to failure makes for a refreshing change in direction.

“We trust that the ANC government will recognise the urgency to revisit the hated system of E-Tolls, and source alternative funding to sustain road infrastructure improvement and to maintain roads in a safe manner in Gauteng and SA.

About affiliations, Dumakude said; “SARSU does not subscribe to mainstream politics, and it’s money-hungry and money-grabbing approach.

“We support the ongoing campaign against the E-Toll system which will result in a decrease in household expenditure capabilities.

“SARSU and its members will support such mass action including a law-compliant civil disobedience program.”

• Source;

• The health and safety union SARSU told that they are a-political. Ntuthuko Dumakude was involved in the political party COPE, and quit to pursue civil activism.
Jeremy Rundle (IOSH UK, Specialist Health, Safety and Environment Consultant, MSc Risk and Safety Management UK, Dip Workers Health and Safety Australia, NEBOSH Dip UK) has 11 years of experience in the oil industry in 17 countries. He was involved in the provincial structure of the DA, and quit to pursue civil activism.
Monique Motloung is an a-political gender and Sheq activist. In addition, whe had started a Sheq officer support system.

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11 thoughts on “New health and safety union SARSU formed

  1. I wish to place on record my sincere appreciation to the visionary leadership of SARSU for blazing the trail in South Africa; no other mission could be nobler I owe you a considerable debt of gratitude. SARSU is akin to the East Japan Railway Workers’ Union (JREU); both unions embrace safety as their guiding star. I concur with the JREU leader Akira Matsuzaki that “The objective of the union is to make the company prosper. This has to be clearly understood. We cannot claim only our rights, like the days of the government corporation, no matter whether the corporation had money or not. We are in a private company now. The basic foundation of private companies is to have healthy development in business management. This is the absolute basis. Therefore, we will fight against those who try to destroy the company”. How I wish we had visionary leadership like this in South Africa! The JREU initiated the much vaunted International Railway Safety Conference which was held in Tokyo in 1990. It also gives me pleasure that SARSU embraces the E-quality philosophy. The concept E-quality (I did not say equality) denotes that quality in an organisation could only be achieved if men and women are treated equally. Finally, I am pleased that SARSU is not affiliated to any political party perhaps they took a leaf out of Sir Winston Churchill’s book that “some people change their party for the sake of their principles and others change their principles for the sake of their party. A principle is something indivisible it is either wholly kept or wholly scarified and any concession on matters of principle implies the betrayal of the principle.

  2. This gets more deurmekaar by the day – a union for safety officers? In the UK, there is no such thing. Wait, maybe Souf Africa is leading the way after all, and I will have to make some signs and practice my toyi-toyi.

    I suppose the DoL get what they deserve. Another monster for a legislation of monstrosity preportions.

    1. What is wrong with a union for SO’s. There are other specific unions, eg leather workers union, catering union, clothing workers union

      1. “In the UK, there is no such thing.” There is no Union for Safety officers and there is no statutory registration. But dear old Koos here wants to tell SA how to run their affairs. He is very good at what he does, but in the UK. So we will have to take his word for it.

      2. You don’t see why you must follow the UK? Do you not realised the bastardised Construction regulations have been adapted from the UK version? A 5 year old could be trained to do a better copy and paste. Besides, the fact the UK is many times safer means you should aspire to learn based on scientific fact not emotive “we must do it the African way” – you cannot escape gravity wherever you stand on this planet and a fall from height will be a fall from height wherever.

        Regarding my performance in South Africa- have you not read my articles Danny? I was making a living from health and safety, in south Africa, running a successful health and safety consultancy before you probably new what it meant to be safe. I have plenty of South African experience – plenty. Good luck with the union, you will need it.

      3. Koos, a fall from height in the UK is from 3m. In SA it includes falling off a chair. So PLEASE do not tell me it is the same all over the world.
        And no Koos, for as long as you do not have a real name, in SOUTH AFRICA you are just a Free State boitjie living in some deserted mining village or the caravan you started off with. So I have not read any valuable H&S articles you may have written.

      4. Hello Danny

        Not taking sides here however, the UK legislation covering ‘working at height’ has changed. There is no minimum distance regarding ‘fall from height’. You can be working at ground level and it can be considered working at height – i.e working next to an excavation.

      5. Danny – you have just showed your ignorance. Adrian sorted that one out. You think you know where I started off? The premise of satire is if the reader does not get it, the deliverer ends up having a laugh or he/she gets enjoyment from others appreciating it – either way is a win. Come Danny, you have to get better with the insults, because right now they are seriously lacking in creativity, but probably no less then the sub-standard health and safety related services you dish up albeit with your loud-mouthed rhetoric about how much money you earn out of it. Never mind, the goldmine won’t last forever. Unfortunately, when that runs out you will need to move onto the next quick money-making scheme in good old south Africa – but as we know people there like to share the wealth, so you might have some sleepless nights trying to protect it.

      6. hehehe Koos, you should be a clown. You are funny, seriously!
        Right now, I earn big bucks making fake files that the “registered persons” approve without knowing what they signed for. And those who had “issues” with my files were retrenched last week for stalling projects.
        Now when this ship sinks, my next get-rich-quick scheme, compliments of the SACPCMP, is to sign off on Candidate CHSO logbooks. Technically I will not sign it, just charge to get it signed by a registered person. That my friend is the ANC objective – to create work opportunities.
        My other plan which will earn me around R15 000 a day (much more then I could ever earn in the UK) is to offer “online” courses on how to pass your SACPCMP Competency scam exam.
        My third plan is to offer training in how to write a SACPCMP approved essay (opstel).
        My bank (FNB) and personal financial adviser (Steve) has already agreed on financing the National Scrap the Crap training centre based on the sponsorship I will get with the compliments of the SACPCMP.

  3. This is great news for the safety fraternity. I wish you and your team all the success and hope you go from strength to strength.
    For the past 30 years the professional associations have failed the practitioners and opted to protect and uphold the public institutions like SAQA, DOL and SACPCMP. They sold practitioners out for mere “recognition” to put a label on their money making schemes.
    Organised Labour has proven far more successful in addressing the needs of the people than any professional association ever could.
    I trust you will stand by your commitments and not be swayed by pressure from these unethical bodies to sell out for the sake of a cushy office job as member of some useless board.
    You have my full support as SADC Director of NIOCCSA

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