PAWUSA’S History

PAWUSA’s history dates back to 1967 when the PSL (Public Servants League) was established in Cape Town on 23 November 1967 to represent employees in the public service, in a period when workers had no labour rights or access to representation and collective bargaining and trade unions were racially separated.

PAWUSA’s founding members, prior and after 1976 were involved in the struggle as part of the Congress movement. Unions such as NEHAWU were only recently established in 1987. Num was founded 30 years ago.

PAWUSA 1967 – 2007

Founder Members

Mr. A. J. Domingo
Mr. Ike Kulsen
Mr. Richard Van Der Ross
Dr. F.G.L. Quint

At the first inaugural meeting on the 23rd November 1967 the meeting unanimously resolved: That the Coloured personnel of the department of Coloured Affairs take the initiative to form an Association presenting Coloured State Employees, in accordance with the Public Service Act and regulations.

On this meeting the first interim committee was elected. The job of this committee consisted of Messrs. A.J. Domingo. I.J.S. Kulsen. I.E. Fredericks, A. P. Brinkhuis, G. Marais, G. Cleinwerck, Mss. M. Gamieldien, E. Martin and Drrs. R.E. Van Der Ross, and F. Quint. The immediate priorities were the furtherance of the principles in the resolution and the formulation of an acceptable constitution. The first Chairperson elected was Mr. A.J. Domingo and Mr. I.Kulsen the Secretary. The first Annual General Meeting was held on 11th January 1969 and it was here where the League’s Constitution was adopted.

The newly elected Executive Committee first assignment was to investigate the feasibility of establishing a group insurance scheme for League members as well as to provide stop order facilities for members at various state departments. In the beginning the league was known to be the Public Servants Union, and as there was problems around the name union the name change came about on the 29th of May 1968 now known as the League for Public Servants.

In 1972 the League open its first office in GARMOUR HOUSE Pleinstreet Cape Town On 1st March 1977 a part-time Clerk by the name of Mrs. D.Le Roux (Brown) was appointed. On 1st June 1977 her part-time appointment was change to that of a full-time appointment. On the 1st January 1978 Mr. Bernard Wentzel was appointed as the Leagues first Secretary. The League was only officially accepted in September 1985. On November 23rd 1967, 87 members was affiliated to the organisation and in 1988 the membership has grown to 40 000 members.

Most Interesting statistics are the following in 1988:

  1.  Full time staff component of 38.
  2.  Head office in Cape Town + 8 regional offices in Athlone. Worcester. George, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Johannesburg and Kimberley.
  3.  More than 700 branches and 26 districts in the Republic.

Who was the founder or better said who started it all?

Paging through the history of the Public Servants League of South Africa, especially its initial years, the image of the late Mr. Aaron Henry John Domingo founder and the first Chairman of the League, looms like a colossus at each milestone that was reached in the course of our establishment. The foundation for many of the successes the union is having today, was laid by this remarkable man’s pioneering years. Blessed above with leadership qualities. The late Mr. Aaron Domingo had the distinction of being the first Non-white official to be appointed Chief Clerk in the then Administration of Coloured Affairs. He was also the first Secretary of the Coloured Persons Representative Council, and a holder of positions on various social bodies.