COSATU 1st Deputy President: Joseph Nkosi. The ebullient 39-year-old Joseph Nkosi is a veteran of both labour and democratic struggles. Jo-seph Nkosi was born and grew up in Madadeni Township, outside the coal mining centre of Newcastle in what is now KwaZulu-Natal Province. He cut his teeth on student politics while completing his schooling at the local high school, Hlalanathi School, where he participated in the activities of Student Youth Organisation. Career Life : After leaving school, like so many South African he struggled to find a job, Joseph Nkosispending 5 years looking for employment. During this time he studied Administration via correspondence at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He was fi-nally employed at Kilbarchan Mine in Newcastle.
When workers at the mine were given the options of either retrenchment or transfer, in 1986 he moved to Middelburg Mines Optimum Colliery, in what is now Mpumalanga Province. During the bitter and protracted 1987 miners’ strike, he played a major role as Activities Co-ordinator for the Na-tional Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Comrade Nkosi was subsequently elected NUM Shaft Steward, and became active in the activities around Witbank of the United Democratic Front, a key antiapartheid force. He was also active in COSATU Middelburg Local, becoming Chairperson of the Local. In 1989 he was elected Vice Chairperson of the National Education Structure Committee of NUM.
After the 1990 unbanning of the ANC and other organisation, he was elected as the Chairperson of the ANC Branch. After playing a leading role in the formation of a South African Communist Party (SACP) Branch at Pullenshope, he served on the Mpumalanga Provincial Executive Commit-tee of SACP. From 1992 until 1996 he served as Provincial Chairperson of SACP . During this period he became Vice Chairperson of the COSATU Highveld Region, where he was elected Chairperson in 1995. He was also elected as National Chairperson of Education Committee of NUM, and re-mains a member of the NUM National Executive Committee. Comrade Nkosi stood in Cosatu Special Congress for a vice presidency against Comrade Peter Malepe, but lost. Subsequently the COSATU Central Ex-ecutive Committee elected him unanimously as Acting 1st Vice President after Comrade Malepe resigned.