Zingiswa Losi Biography
Zingiswa Losi is a South African politician, a member of the ANC (African National Congress) and the first female president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).
Losi and other COSATU leaders were nominated unopposed at the federation’s congress in Midrand on 18 September 2018. The only change to Cosatu’s leadership is that National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu)’s deputy president Mike Shingange takes over from Losi as first deputy president, while Louise Thipe from Saccawu takes over from Tyotyo James as the second deputy president.
She comes from a family of activists and naturally, she became politically conscious at the tender age of 10.
“I become politically aware at the age of 10 when my two brothers went into exile and little did I know that, I would follow them when I grew up,” she said in a biography.
She is a trained soldier and served in the South African Defence Force for three years. After resigning from the army, Losi was employed by Ford, a car manufacturer in Port Elizabeth in 2002, as an operator in the engine components and assemble division.
She became a quality inspector and, in the same year, a Numsa shop steward at the plant. At the same time, she served in various Numsa committees such as finance and education in the Eastern Cape region as well as a senior leader of the federation.
In 2009, at Cosatu’s 10th congress, Losi beat Boitumelo Louise Thipe, of the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers’ Union to the post of second deputy president of the federation.
In 2014 Numsa and eight of Cosatu’s 18 affiliates plotted Losi’s dismissal as Cosatu’s second deputy president accusing her of not towing the line concerning the change in Numsa’s political direction.
Losi joined the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union despite never being a member of the police or a prison official. This allowed her to become a shop steward so that she could keep her position in Cosatu.
Since then there were numerous attempts to get her dismissed, with union members saying she was holding on to her position unconstitutionally.
However Cosatu’s central executive committee voted for her to stay on.