• Edward de Klerk

From the desk of the General Secretary



The full impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Economy of the World, Country, Printing Industry and SATU as an Organisation.


As an introduction SATU as an organisation has unfortunately not escaped the real economic impact this pandemic has caused in the lives of all of us, it has created an atmosphere of total and constant insecurity in our daily lives hence the need for the following.


The radical organisational shift regarding labour and real-time cost implications and its future consequences to employers caused by Covid-19 requires sustainable solutions that can be co-initiated through the optimisation of expertise and resources. It has become imperative that collaboration with diverse social partners should enhance technological, social, and financial integration and this implies new ideas and the collective commitment of all role-players. It will remain the task of these diverse Industry leaders to develop a trans-sectoral platform that can enable all voices to engage in strategic future anticipation in consultation with NEDLAC.


SATU and its partners are mandated (Ramaphosa,2019) to build a future-looking understanding of how humans and machines can collaborate to deliver an ecological corporate response to the pandemic and find a shared purposeful solution. The Printing Industry stakeholders need to clarify the values and behaviours that underpin its current and imminent future policies, AI processes, decision-making, and priorities.


SATU needs to identify and engage with internal and external stakeholders to manage the future expectations of all Printing companies and include all their stakeholder and especially their membership voices to co-create the future of work. The industry-leading partners and SATU need to co-initiate an open and transparent narrative regarding how they could jointly be influencing, planning, and delivering on the future of work – and offer solutions that underscore real-time value implications for printing organisations, society, and individuals working within this sector and SATU as an organisation.


What has been the impact on SATU due to the economic downturn in the Printing Industry? we have observed many large and medium companies either resorting to restructuring in the way they do business thereby leading to retrenchments, short-time work or just closing during this period of the pandemic. This has unfortunately forced SATU as an organisation to reassess its current strategy and the way it is operating.


As the Head office team, we had to make certain recommendations to the Leadership of the organisation in respect of also restructuring the operation of the organisation and where possible to minimise the impact of retrenchment of staff. Due to the impact of the closure of two large companies in Bloemfontein and the shrinkage of membership in this instance the Executive Council and the Governing Board has supported the recommendation to close the Bloemfontein Office and reshuffle the staff to other regions.


But all has not been doom and gloom for SATU during this period, we have managed to recruit members in fifteen new companies, we have improved our benefits through the EBF, such as a continuous out of work benefit for members who have been financially impacted for a reduction in salary due to short-time work, improved the amount for the benefit maternity, introduction of a paternity benefit, and a gender-based violence benefit, all these benefits await final approval from regulators and will be rolled out in due course.


As the General Secretary on behalf of the Leadership I would like to assure our membership that even during these very trying times, we will not falter in our quest to look after the best interests of our members and the Organisation through service delivery par excellence.


Viva SATU Viva!!!

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