Trade Union Savings and Credit Operatives: The Case of National Education, Health and Allied Workers, Savings and Credit Co-operative in South Africa

Unathi Sonwabile Henama


The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) is an affiliate of the pro-African National Congress (ANC) Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) operates one of the largest savings and credit cooperates in South Africa after opening its doors in 2006. The establishment of the NEHAWU Trade Union Savings and Credit Operatives (SACCO) can be attributed according to the Presidential Growth and Development Summit to endorse special measures to support co-operatives as part for job-creation in the South African economy. NEHAWU SACCO introduced to its members a new savings and credit vehicle which was collectively owned by the NEHAWU SACCO members acting in their interest. NEHAWU SACCO is therefore an excellent example of the operational nature of a savings and credit co-operative that has been able to respond to the conservative nature of banks and the expensive financial products in the marketplace and filling a gap in the market, a worker union SACCO. The purpose of the paper is to document the development of NEHAWU Savings and Credit Co-operative within the broader SACCO movement in South Africa. An overview of the current available research on SACCOs in South Africa is embedded in this paper to indicate the successes and shortcomings of NEHAWU SACCO against international SACCO benchmarks. The paper is exploratory in nature and a review of literature was undertaken to add to the paucity of information about the SACCO sector in South Africa. A variety of sources from journals, regulations and related institutions were used.


savings, credit, union, banking, credit co-operative, trade

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International Journal of Cooperatives Studies

ISSN 2168-2631/  eISSN 2168-264X

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