About Us

The South African Typographical Union was established in 1898 as a National trade Union and has served the Printing Newspaper and Packaging Industry for 123 years with distinction.


This is our story and why we have been in the business for 123 years.

Throughout the years the South African Typographical Union has concentrated on organizing the technical employees in the print and packaging sectors.  However, due to technological changes in the industry and the reduction of technical workers, it had to amend its Constitution to take in many other Allied Sectors.


The Conditions of Employment which apply to members in the Printing, Newspaper and Packaging Industry are in many cases better than those which most other unions have been able to negotiate for their members, and are in most cases, better than the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

123 years of People, Integrity & Pride

Since the inception of this Act, employers have been attempting to change our members’ conditions of employment to those of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.  This has the effect of reducing our member’s conditions of employment to those of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act which are less favorable than our member’s present conditions. Remember that the Basic Conditions of Employment Act only sets out the minimum conditions an employer can employ a person on. SATU has vigorously opposed these changes, as the conditions of employment which our members enjoy have been negotiated over the course of many years.  

SATU has amended its Constitution to extend its scope to include the following occupations: Stationary Outlets, Book Shops, Publishing Houses, Advertising Agencies, Screen and Sign Display Sectors, Photocopy Shops, Printing Suppliers.

These are areas which the Union had not concentrated on as yet. Our strategy includes amongst other methods; organizing workers as union only members, once they have seen the benefits of belonging to a union, we can work on getting them to enjoy the benefits of joining our funds.

Our people

We have six regional offices to ensure you have representation available locally to assist you.  The regional office contact details and contact persons are shown below.

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Edward de Klerk

Tel: 012 338 2021



Thaakira Hendricks

Tel: 041 484 1490



Themba Pata

Tel: 041 484 1490


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Xoliwe Mavuso 

Tel: 011 834 1261


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Andrew Michael

Nkosinathi Bence

Tel: 021 461 1180


Tel: 031 301 7634


Main Focus

We are there for you

​We focus on you, with no hidden agendas and no political affiliations or aspirations.

We know how to take care of you

We have been taking care of our members for 120 years.

We represent all

With more than 80% of our membership comprising of previously disadvantaged individuals, no one is excluded.

We will look after your future


We have two substantial, well established retirement funds for our members which are optional for editorial and administrative workers to join, but are compulsory for all technical workers who join the Union.  Why the difference?  Editorial and administrative workers normally have, as a condition of employment, a company pension/provident fund and medical aid that is compulsory for them to join.

The Union represents workers in the Printing, Newspaper and Packaging sectors and has enrolled a number of journalists and administrative employees already.  SATU is recognized in most newspaper and printing firms.  If your workplace, as defined in the Labour Relations Act, has no Union representing the employees then the Union needs 30% of the employees to join to be 'sufficiently representative' and 50% + 1 to have 'majority representation' and have the full rights granted in terms of the Labour Relations Act.


SATU recognises that wage negotiations can be done at one forum, but that conditions of employment of different categories of employees needed to be understood and other benefits for editorial (journalists) and administrative employees must be separated as the operational requirements are different; as will all the additional sectors which have been added to the Union’s scope.

Once 'majority representation' has been achieved in a workplace then wage negations can take place, conditions of employment can be reviewed, legal assistance can be given on any work related problem, etc.

It is important for employees in all the sectors to work towards achieving these numbers so that the Union can be of assistance to them. Always remember, unity is strength!