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SALGA Statement on the passing of the General Secretary of SAMWU, Comrade Koena Ramotlou





Posted: 03 January 2021

SALGA is deeply shocked and devastated by the untimely passing of Comrade (Cde) Koena Ramotlou who was serving as the General Secretary of the South African Municipal Workers Union. 

The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) is an important union in the local government sector and has over the years played a significant role in numerous transformations that are aimed at optimally achieving the goal of a developmental local government. Whilst recognizing the role that the entire collective leadership of SAMWU plays, Comrade Ramotlou’s leadership was exceptional as he was highly committed union leader and a superbly skilled negotiator. He was elected as the SAMWU General Secretary in December 2020.

As SALGA we are deeply saddened by this loss, Cde Koena Ramotlou was an important representative of labour in the South African Local Government Bargaining Chamber. He was astute, soft spoken, unflinching yet reasonable. His leadership and negotiation style will be greatly missed during the next few months which are a critical phase in not only local government salary negotiations but labour stability in South African municipalities.

Throughout his activism at the leadership helm of SAMWU Cde Ramotlou always projected himself as a committed activist who had a clear and well-reasoned idea of what it means to champion the interests of municipal workers. He believed that workers should earn decently so that they can be able to selflessly serve the people of South Africa. He balanced this view with the belief that municipalities ought to be sustainable for them to continue providing services to communities and decent salaries for employees.

He was thus a revolutionary trade unionist who aligned his activism in the union with broader struggles in society. Cde Koena Ramotlou fully laboured to instil the ideal of selfless service in municipal workers across the country.

We send our condolences to the Ramotlou family, his comrades and friends. We share in your grief and we express our deepest sympathies on this tragic loss. Cde Koena Ramotlou was indeed a good human being, a good colleague and a great family man. 

Robala ka khutšo!
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