Biographies

Jay Naidoo: DATE OF BIRTH 20 December 1954 Early Life Enrolled in University of Durban Westville in 1975 to study a BSc degree in pursuance of a medical career. Became part of the South African Students Organization led by Steve Biko. Was active in student’s politics. Left university in 1977 before completing degree because of Government repression. Then became a community organizer building Jay Naidoomass based civil society organi-zations.
In 1979, joined a fledging trade union movement Fosatu (Federation of South African Trade Unions) as a volunteer. In 1980 became a full time or-ganizer and led the Sweet, Food and Allied Workers Union as General Secretary by 1982. CURRENT: Founder of the J&J Group Development Trust the social development arm of the J&J Group. Chairman of the De-velopment Bank of Southern Africa, a key development fiFinance Institu-tion, owned by the South African Government, driving the expansion of so-cial and economic infrastructure in the SADC region. Was elected General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in 1985 and was re-elected for three terms.
During the 1980s Cosatu became not only the most powerfully organized force working for the improvement of working conditions but also in alli-ance with political organizations like the now governing party African Na-tional Congress (ANC) for the broader political freedoms of our people. Its membership by the 1990s reached one and half million members. In 1993 was elected by Cosatu to lead twenty labour leaders to stand on an ANC ticket for the election of the first democratic parliament in South Africa. Then became the co-coordinator of the Reconstruction and Development Program, which was drawn up in a consultative process of discussion with all of the progressive democratic forces and underpinned the ANC’s elec-tion campaign in 1994.