Project 5: Renew our membership and benefits

In line with our 2002 slogan, "the year of the member", project 5 will look into how we can offer better benefits to you, the member.

When Numsa and its predecessors were formed, they were very small and they were adamant that they were not going to be just 'benefits' unions. Trade unions had to be strong to survive the repression of the apartheid state. So they built their unions with strong shopfloor structures. These structures built worker power and enabled workers to demand benefits like provident funds, medical aids, housing loans, through employers.

But now Numsa is a very big organisation. It has the muscle to negotiate more benefits for its members. At the moment Numsa just provides funeral benefits and workplace legal advice. Numsa members also get some of the benefits below from collective agreements that the Union has negotiated for its members.

More established overseas and South African trade unions provide:

Funeral Cover, Medical Aid, Housing Loans at reduced interests rates, Clothing and Travel/ holiday discounts, Bursary Schemes and Educational Assistance Programmes, Discounts and Bulk Buying Arrangements Insurance deals Computer discounts Financial assistance for retrenchees and striking workers. The other questions that we must answer are how should we deliver these benefits? Do we start a trust or a Development Agency? Do we get funding from outside? Do we need to increase membership subscriptions? Can we get sponsorship? Is there a role for the NUMSA Investment Company? How can Retirements Funds assist? Should we collaborate with other Unions or go it alone? Draft proposals will be presented to the Numsa Central Committee in November this year.

Adopted proposals will be implemented next year if they don't require an increase in subscriptions. If a subscription increase is recommended, Numsa will have to go back to you the member for your approval.

What new benefits should Numsa provide? Send to us at Numsa OR Project, P.O. Box 260483, Excom 2023 or fax to 011-833 6330 or e-mail to or


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